President Joe Biden made it quite clear on Thursday that his attempt to reach a bipartisan deal on Congress’s infrastructure package was just for show.
Just hours after announcing that he had reached a “compromise” with Republican and Democratic senators on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, Biden vowed to oppose that very same deal if he was forced to give up the progressive wish list Republicans had rejected from his original proposal.
“If this [bipartisan deal] is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it,” Biden said. “It’s in tandem.”
In other words, Biden wants Democrats to pass a second bill that includes all of the partisan policies that were cut out to create this $1.2 trillion compromise — policies such as free child care, free community college, and paid leave that would total nearly $6 trillion. And he wants Democrats to pass that along party lines through the budget reconciliation process so that Senate Democrats can bypass the 60-vote requirement to move the legislation and ignore Republicans’ opposition completely.
Put simply, Biden is saying he has no interest in a legitimate, good-faith compromise. He is rejecting anything that would require him to give up the more radical parts of his agenda that he knows Republicans would reject.
So, this whole thing is a charade. There is no point at all to this $1.2 trillion deal, in which Republicans had to concede to more federal spending than they would have liked, if Democrats are just going to turn around and force through the rest of their wish list anyway.
As the editors of National Review put it, imagine if former President Donald Trump had agreed to a smaller version of his 2017 tax cut bill to win Democratic support, only to then turn around and pass the rest of his proposal without them anyway. No one in their right minds would have considered that a true bipartisan deal.
Biden’s deal shouldn’t be considered a compromise either, and Republicans (especially those involved in Biden’s bipartisan talks) would be wise to oppose it.
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