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McConnell says he's '100%' focused on stopping Biden's agenda

So much for the bipartisanship Republicans demanded.

By Emily Singer - May 05, 2021
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday dropped any pretense that he’s looking to cut bipartisan deals with President Joe Biden, telling reporters that he’s “100%” focused on stopping Biden’s agenda.

McConnell made the comment when asked his thoughts on the House GOP effort to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership role because she refuses to support Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 presidential election being stolen.

McConnell declined to comment on the Republican infighting, instead telling reporters, “One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration.”

When pressed further, McConnell still declined to comment on Cheney’s fate, reiterating, “One hundred percent of my focus is on standing up to this administration. What we have in the United States Senate is totally unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do this country.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded Wednesday, saying, “I guess the contrast for people is 100% of our focus is on delivering relief to the American people and getting the pandemic under control.”

McConnell’s comments shed the veneer that Republicans are seeking to cut deals with Biden on things like infrastructure and jobs for the sake of bipartisanship.

While McConnell encouraged Democrats to work on “bipartisan solutions” in a March 30 op-ed in the Courier-Journal, Republicans signaled they had no intention to compromise when they proposed a significantly cut down counter-offer to Biden’s infrastructure and jobs plan, with Republicans demanding that Biden accept exactly what Republicans want or expect no Republican votes on his legislation.

And McConnell suggested in a Monday speech that he was done compromising with Democrats, saying at the University of Louisville, “The bipartisanship of last year has broken down because our colleagues on the other side of the aisle just can’t resist stretching out the pandemic, using it as a rationale for additional spending.”

Republican lawmakers are opposing Biden’s American Jobs Plan, even though polling shows it’s popular. A Politico/Morning Consult poll from March found 54% of registered voters support Biden’s infrastructure plan and raising taxes on the rich to pay for it.

It’s not the first time McConnell has sought to uniformly obstruct a Democratic president.

Back in October 2010, McConnell said in an interview that “The single most important thing” he wanted to accomplish was “for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

McConnell failed at that.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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