Earlier in the day, McConnell (R-Ky.) had told reporters that Biden is supporting policies that would turn the United States into a socialist country, a frequent line of attack from the right that the president and other Democrats reject as false.
“One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration,” McConnell said during an appearance in Georgetown, Ky. “I think the best way to look at what this new administration is: The president may have won the nomination, but Bernie Sanders won the argument.”
McConnell’s comments about the Biden administration were reminiscent of those he made just before the 2010 midterm elections stating that the main priority for Republicans was to ensure President Barack Obama did not get reelected.
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” McConnell told the National Journal.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Biden focused on his record of working with Republicans on bipartisan legislation during his decades in the Senate and later in negotiations with McConnell during his tenure as vice president.
But his talk of bipartisanship has run headlong into political acrimony and party divisions. No Republican in the House or Senate voted for Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, and the GOP is resisting Biden’s multitrillion-dollar spending plans. At the same time, Republicans have complained that Biden is unwilling to stick to his campaign pledge to reach out to the GOP.
Biden said Wednesday that he is open to compromise on his $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan but that he stands by his proposal to finance the plan by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans — an idea Republicans have soundly rejected.
“Everything I’m proposing that be done to generate economic growth and employment and put us in a position where we can out-compete any other country in the world with research and development and moving ahead, I pay for,” the president said Wednesday.
Republicans have bristled at Biden’s American Jobs Plan, saying the $2 trillion dollar price tag is too high for Americans, especially those earning more than $400,000. While the economic proposal is popular with most Americans, according to surveys, prominent business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have come out against the effort.
Biden criticized Republicans for their 2017 support of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and said even conservative think tanks noted that those tax breaks did not stimulate the economy the way GOP lawmakers promised.
“My Republican friends had no problem voting to pass a tax proposal that expires in 2025 that cost $2 trillion — none of it paid for, increased the deficit by $2 trillion, gave the overwhelming percentage of those tax breaks to people who didn’t need it,” he said.
“I’m willing to compromise, but I’m not willing to not pay for what we’re talking about,” Biden said. “I’m not willing to deficit-spend.”
Biden said the way to actually increase productivity and stimulate economic growth is to have corporations pay more taxes that will create a million jobs and fund the construction and repair of bridges, highways and other long-neglected infrastructure projects.
During a stop in Rhode Island, Vice President Harris was asked about McConnell’s comments. “We are sincere and serious about the potential to actually get something done together,” Harris said. “We believe it’s possible, and we’re not going to give up on that until it becomes evident that it’s not possible.”