House Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters in his state that he thinks President Joe Biden, whom he has known for decades in the Senate and Washington, is a “first-rate person” but that his administration is “left-wing” and doesn’t have a “mandate” for some of the policies they are pursuing.
“I like him personally, I mean, we’ve been friends for a long time. He’s a first-rate person. Nevertheless, this is a bold, left-wing administration. I don’t think they have a mandate to do what they’re doing,” McConnell said on Thursday.
McConnell has vowed repeatedly to stand in the way of Biden priorities like trillions in climate change spending and most recently, the $2 trillion “infrastructure” plan Biden is trying to get through Congress.
He said that Republicans in the Senate were in “a reactive mode” and that he saw his position as “defensive coordinator” to try to keep radical legislation from passing by a razor-thin margin.
“Big philosophical differences”
“I would love to find some things that we can agree on,” he said, but recognized that there are “big philosophical differences and that’s going to make it more and more difficult for us to reach bipartisan agreements.”
Biden and McConnell worked closely together in the Senate when Biden was a member there and while he served as Senate President during his terms as Barack Obama’s Vice President, but McConnell said he has “barely” spoken to Biden since he was inaugurated.
Biden did call him recently to talk about his so-called infrastructure plan, which like the recent COVID relief bill contains little spending actually related to its title.
According to USA Today, only around $300 billion of the bill’s spending would go to repairing roads and rail systems, while the rest would be spent on “green” inititatives and welfare spending that are only loosely connected to infrastructure.
McConnell says infrastructure bill will not get Republican support
McConnell told reporters that Biden’s bill will not get any Republican support because it includes onerous tax increases on businesses in order to “pay for” the bill.
“The last thing the economy needs right now is a big whooping tax increase on all the productive sections of our economy,” McConnell said.
Because it is a spending bill, Democrats could force it through the Senate by using reconciliation as they had with the COVID relief bill, but that would require that every Senate Democrat vote to support it.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) could prove to be a sticking point in passing the huge bill, having already said that he would not support it unless it was bipartisan and had some Republican support.