A rare scene played out Wednesday in Covington, Kentucky. President Joe Biden stood alongside Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to push forward the bipartisan legislative breakthrough the two men have achieved together.
The president’s visit to McConnell’s home to herald implementation of the massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that McConnell and 18 other Republican senators voted for and that Biden signed into law in 2021 was It was my first domestic visit of the new year. The visit was intended to send an unmistakable message for Biden as he begins the second half of his first term. Even the newly divided Congress believes the Biden White House still has room for bipartisanship.
Biden thanked McConnell for working across the legal aisles.
“Without your hands it wouldn’t have happened,” Biden said in McConnell’s remarks.
He added that while he and McConnell disagreed on many points, the Kentucky Republican was someone he could trust.
“He’s a man who keeps his promises. When he makes a promise to you, you can take it to the bank, you can count on it, and he gets things done for the country.” Thank you, Mitch. Thank you,” Biden said.
The scene is a clear message of bipartisanship and pragmatism sent by Biden and McConnell, with two old senators coming together at the same time that House Republicans are vying for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for Speaker. I found myself in a divisive mess. As Biden addressed in Covington, McCarthy suffered his fourth loss to lead the House.
The backdrop to Biden’s visit is the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky, and is known as one of the busiest freight routes in the country. Officials say the structure carries far more traffic than it was intended to support.
It’s also the bridge Biden once promised to overhaul. “I’ll fix that damn bridge of yours going to Kentucky,” Biden said at his CNN town hall in Cincinnati in the summer of 2021 as the infrastructure bill was revealed. I am at a crossing point.
On Wednesday, the White House announced that more than $2 billion from the Infrastructure Act will be used to upgrade the Brent Spence Bridge and other “economically significant bridges” around the country.
Biden’s visit to the Ohio-Kentucky border on Wednesday included Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and former Republican Senator Rob Portman, Democratic Kentucky Gov. Senator Brown will also attend.
White House officials said the bipartisan guise was intended to send a clear signal that Biden still believes he has a chance to win a bipartisan legislature as Republicans take control of the House. There is
The White House made it clear Wednesday that it does not intend to get involved in the drama unfolding in the House of Representatives. said, “We will put the process into action.”
“It’s not my problem. I think it’s embarrassing that it’s taking so long,” the president told reporters as he departed the White House on Wednesday.
McConnell’s decision to appear with Biden on Wednesday means Republican leaders will work with the president even as many of his Republican colleagues in the House take a tough stance on compromising with Democrats. showing willingness.
White House officials regularly invite all members of Congress to events Biden hosts in his country, but Republicans frequently turn down the opportunity.
Biden himself tried to downplay the importance of the pairing on Monday.
“We’ve been friends for a long time. Everybody talks about how important that is. It has nothing to do with our relationship,” he said as he returned to the White House from his winter break in St. Croix. Told. “It’s a huge bridge, man. That’s a lot of money. That’s important.”
In his remarks before the president, McConnell referred to the Infrastructure Act as an example of what the government is doing to solve the problems of everyday Americans.
“When you look at the political alignment of all involved, governments are working together to solve big problems. Countries need to see examples like this, they need to come together and get results.” said McConnell.
Later this week, a number of ministers will travel to promote the Infrastructure Act. Vice President Kamala Harris made a stop in Chicago, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited New London, Connecticut, on Wednesday to discuss how the president’s economic plan will rebuild our infrastructure and create high-paying jobs. White House officials need a four-year degree to revitalize marginalized communities.
Over the next few weeks, Biden is expected to repeat his bipartisan achievements across the country as Republican-majority lawmakers kick into action in the House, culminating in the annual State of the Union address. Biden’s aide began work on that speech, making bipartisanship a central theme.