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Politics Biden, via spokeswoman, has a message for McConnell: Don't label me, bro

21:10  06 april  2021
21:10  06 april  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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President Joe Biden has a message for the top Republican in the Senate, his old friend Mitch McConnell: Don’t label me, bro.

Joe Biden et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

The Senate minority leader clearly got the White House’s attention during an appearance at the University of Louisville while the upper chamber is on its annual Easter recess.

McConnell, who served alongside then-Sen. Biden for decades, said the president is no centrist despite running for the White House on a centrist message and vowing to work with Republicans to pass major legislation.

The top GOP senator and others in his caucus, however, point to Biden’s massive spending package that the president said was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic and a $2.3 trillion infrastructure package that he rolled out last week as examples of how the former Delaware senator is pushing what they call a liberal agenda.

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But Biden’s top press secretary, when asked about McConnell’s description of her boss, told reporters Tuesday the president rejects his old pal’s assessment — and any other Republicans might offer.

"The president is not eager to be labeled by anyone in his party, or even by his friend Mitch McConnell,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

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The moniker row comes after McConnell and other Republicans rejected much of the first of two sprawling infrastructure bills. The two parties disagree over what the term even means, with the president offering a much broader definition. The GOP, however, would prefer to pursue a bipartisan deal focused more narrowly on roads, airports, bridges, tunnels, and seaports.

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McConnell last week promised to fight the White House “every step of the way.”

The Biden proposal calls for $174 billion in federal monies to spur the electric car market, including the installation of a half-million charging stations across the country.

It also would devote $16 billion to help retrain workers from industries related to fossil fuels, which Democrats say are spurring a too-quickly changing climate. That money also would go toward plugging abandoned oil and gas wells and cleaning up the aforementioned coal mines.

All, and other similar provisions, are opposed by Republicans, meaning Biden and his Democratic leadership colleagues could move forward for a second time to pass a giant spending measure with nary a GOP vote.

To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer contended in a Monday night statement that the chamber’s nonpartisan parliamentarian had ruled an infrastructure measure could be moved under the reconciliation rule, a fast-track procedure that allows a simple-majority vote to pass legislation rather than the typical 60-vote threshold.

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White House aides still say Biden would prefer a deal with Republicans, but they and the president have made clear he would get behind passing one or both infrastructure bills that he will propose with just Democratic votes.

Tags: News, White House, Jen Psaki, Mitch McConnell, Joe Biden, Coronavirus, Infrastructure, Congress

Original Author: John T. Bennett

Original Location: Biden, via spokeswoman, has a message for McConnell: Don't label me, bro

Mitch McConnell's Favorability Rating Down 10 Points in Months Since Trump Lost Election .
Though both his job approval and favorability ratings have dropped, the Kentucky Republican easily won his bid for reelection last fall.The Kentucky Republican's favorability rating has also taken a hit in the months since Trump lost his bid for re-election to President Joe Biden.

usr: 13
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