Democrats Urge Joe Biden to Ditch Bipartisan Negotiations and Force Agenda Through Congress

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress as Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) look on in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. On the eve of his 100th day …
Melina Mara-Pool/Getty Images

Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to ditch bipartisan negotiations and force big government spending packages totaling nearly six trillion dollars through Congress.

“There are certainly some in the president’s inner circle who were part of the Obama team who say, ‘Look, we can’t just have this go on forever,’” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) said about the stalled legislative efforts in the Senate. “There has to be an outcome,” he pressured.

Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) also believes bipartisanship is becoming less necessary.

“The president has laid out so well what we need to get done to build back better and create good union jobs,” he said. “If the GOP wants to work with us to achieve that vision, I’m all for it. But I don’t think we should let their opposition force us to do less.”

Jay Carney, a former Obama White House press secretary and Biden staffer who is now an executive at Amazon, said of the stalled legislation, “I think everyone is much more realistic about whether bipartisan cooperation is possible.”

“The lesson that this team learned, beginning with President Biden, from that experience is that there is a cost to waiting too long,” added Carney.

Biden’s top pollster John Anzalone suggested the Chinese coronavirus has given Biden an opportunity to escape the bipartisanship his campaign promised.

“What’s more important now during a crisis is they want things done. If that means Joe Biden has to go it alone, they seem to be fine with that,” Anzalone explained.

Steve Ricchetti, a top White House aide, told the Washington Post Biden is short on time to pass the nearly six trillion dollars of spending before the midterms become a factor.

“We have a little more time for the consideration of this, and the percolation of these proposals, to have broader consultation and dialogue,” he said. “There’s more receptivity on the Republican side to having that dialogue, and they also see the potential to reach some common ground here.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Politico concerning Biden’s radical tax increases that he is wary of the corporate hike from 21 percent to 28 percent to compensate for the spending.

“You want make sure you’re competitive,” he said, adding, “[If] there’s something you’re missing, if there’s loopholes or this or that. . . . But just raising the rate — it’d be the highest rate in the world. Not the best idea in the world.”

Without Manchin’s blessing on legislation, none of Biden’s agenda passes the Senate on partisan lines. Even with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) tactic of reconciliation on budget-related items, Manchin must consent.

“That makes me very uncomfortable,” Manchin postured. “Are we going to be able to be competitive and be able to pay for what we need in the country? We’ve got to figure out what our needs are, and maybe make some adjustments.”

Republican Susan Collins (R-ME), a Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) sympathizer, said Biden’s potential to move without bipartisanship is unlike the man she knew in the Senate.

“The Joe Biden that I knew in the Senate was always interested in negotiation. I thought very highly of him,” Collins said. “I like him. I worked with him.”

As for Biden himself, he stated last week that he is struggling to find bipartisanship for his radical policies without a caving to the Republican Party. “Everybody talks about, can I do anything bipartisan? Well, I got to figure out if there’s a party to deal with. We need a Republican Party. … We need another party, whatever you call it, that’s unified — not completely splintered and fearful of one another.”


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