Biden Brushes Off Question About Infrastructure Divide With Republicans With a Joke
President Biden on Wednesday, meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, said he believes he can reach "some consensus on a compromise" with Republicans and Democrats, joking that he’ll "just snap my fingers" for it to happen.
Biden, meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, maintained that he would be able to "reach a compromise."
"I ran, I said I wasn't going to be a Democratic president. I'm going to be a president for all Americans," Biden said. "And what the bottom line here is, we're going to see whether we can reach some consensus on a compromise on moving forward."
Biden said he would be discussing infrastructure with congressional leadership and would see "if there’s any way we can reach a compromise that gets the people’s work done and is within the bounds of everyone grand. And that’s the purpose of this meeting."
A reporter asked the president how he planned to reach a compromise.
"Easy, just snap my fingers," Biden joked. "It'll happen."
Biden is expected to discuss his American Jobs Plan with congressional leadership — his proposal to rebuild the nation's infrastructure and pump money into manufacturing, transportation, renewable energy and combating climate change.
Despite Biden's confidence in reaching a compromise, McConnell, R-Ky., said earlier this month that he did not expect any Republican senator to support the president's push for $4 trillion in spending on infrastructure and other projects.
"If they can’t get all their ducks in a row, to use reconciliation again they’ll have to have every single Democrat in the Senate, all of them, in line, in lockstep, in order to do that. A number of them are saying they agree with us," McConnell said at a press conference. "I think it’s worth talking about, but I don’t think there’ll be any Republican senators, none, zero, for the $4.1 trillion grab bag, which has infrastructure in it, but a whole lot of other stuff."
Biden divided his proposal into the American Jobs Plan, which is projected to cost about $2.2 trillion, and the American Families Plan, which is projected to cost about $1.8 trillion. The president has called for a higher corporate tax rate and increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans to cover the costs of his plan.
Meanwhile, Biden was also asked about McCarthy, R-Calif., and GOP leadership in the House and whether he could trust him and work with him — a question Biden ignored.
House Republicans on Wednesday voted to remove Cheney, R-Wyo., from leadership as House GOP Conference chair by a voice vote.
Cheney had remained steadfast in her opposition to former President Trump and his "dangerous lies" about the 2020 election being stolen from him -- putting her at odds with other House Republicans who wanted to move on from the Jan. 6 riot and unite the party to win in the 2022 midterms.
An election on who will replace Cheney will occur at a later date. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., has emerged as the frontrunner who has the endorsement of Trump and the top two GOP leaders, McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R.-La.