Giving his reaction to Joe Biden’s speech at the joint session of Congress, Mitch McConnell called the speech a “long liberal dream” that did not include practical plans.
Speaking in the Senate chamber the morning after the president’s remarks, the Senate minority leader began by saying that Biden is a “nice person” with whom many in attendance remember serving in Congress.
McConnell then said that although the tone of the president’s remarks was underestimated, “the content was anything but”.
He then drew up a long list of Republican criticisms of the administration, from lowering defense spending, to a larger role for the federal government, to the humanitarian crisis at the border.
The senator also stressed what he sees as the administration’s neglect of international relations, mentioning China, Russia and Iran, before turning to criticize the scale of Biden’s plans for infrastructure, families, jobs, arms control and reform. electoral.
“That was the background of last night’s speech. But instead of practical plans to fulfill these fundamental responsibilities, America listened to a long liberal dream, ”McConnell said.
The minority leader said the bottom line was that a year ago a Democrat said the pandemic crisis gave the left a huge opportunity to restructure the country according to the party’s vision.
“Well, President Biden said more or less the same thing last night. That his administration intends to turn a crisis into an opportunity. The far left certainly gets the message, “McConnell said.” Some of the more liberal members of Congress have gone to great lengths to say they are surprised and delighted by the president’s willingness to do things their way.
The senator’s remarks come after the president specifically mentioned him in his speech, recalling how McConnell once told him to name a bipartisan cancer research bill after his late son Beau.
In one of the few bipartisan moments during Biden’s speech, lawmakers on both sides stood up to applaud the president’s call to work to end cancer.
Mr. Biden also applauded a group of Republican senators who put forward their own proposals on police reform and infrastructure, saying Democrats welcome the ideas.
However, in his remarks on Thursday, McConnell criticized the Democrats saying they are pursuing a “divide and conquer” strategy instead of the bipartisan approach they promised.
“This is not what the American people voted for,” said the minority leader. “This country just elected a 50-50 Senate, a very divided chamber and a president who talked about a big game about cutting deals, bringing people together and building bridges.”
While both houses of Congress can be split equally between the two parties, the challenge for Republicans is that, according to polls, much of Biden’s legislative agenda is widely popular – particularly on infrastructure – and his approval rating. staff remains solid.