McConnell says Biden's unity message in speech didn't match plans not 'designed' for 'bipartisan buy-in'

Biden gave ‘socialist vision of America’ in joint Congressional speech: Pompeo

Fox News contributor and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacts to Biden’s joint address to Congress

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress showed the president is not serious about seeking bipartisan compromise despite his “understated” tone.

Biden touted vaccination rates and praised Republicans for engaging in “productive” discussions on police reform and infrastructure. But Biden also pushed for massive spending bills that, combined with his coronavirus stimulus would total about $6 trillion, and backed other progressive policies like a $15 minimum wage. 

McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor that there’s a wide gap between how Biden presents himself to the public and the details of what he’s actually doing in office. 

“Last night President Biden delivered his first address to the joint session of Congress and today marks his 100th day in office. President Biden is a likable person… but while the tone of his remarks were understated, the content was anything but,” McConnell said.

President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., stand and applaud. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)
(Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

“He talked at length about competing with China without mentioning he wants to cut U.S. defense spending after inflation,” McConnell continued. “He talked about immigration without taking any responsibility for the border crisis that has his administration packing unaccompanied children into facilities and releasing arrivals into our country. And the president talked about unity and togetherness while reading off a multitrillion-dollar shopping list that was neither designed nor intended to earn bipartisan buy-in.” 

McConnell also slammed Biden over putting a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline project, rejoining the Paris climate agreement, failing to push for reopening schools hard enough, being too soft on Iran and more. 

The president talked about unity and togetherness while reading off a multi-trillion dollar shopping list that was neither designed nor intended to earn bipartisan buy-in.

“Some of the most liberal members of Congress have gone out of their way to say that they are surprised and delighted – delighted – by the president’s willingness to do things their way,” the minority leader said. 

Biden spent perhaps the most time in his address pitching the “American Jobs Plan” and “American Families Plan,” two proposals that will cost about $2 trillion each. 

“This is the largest jobs plan since World War Two,” Biden said. “The American Jobs Plan creates jobs, replacing 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines… It creates jobs connecting every American with high-speed internet… creates jobs building a modern power grid.”

“We also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families and our children. That’s why I introduced the American Families Plan tonight, which addresses… the biggest challenges facing American families and in turn, America,” Biden continued. He said that plan will include free preschool, free community college, paid family leave and expand the child tax credit. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky., Monday, April 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)


McConnell said Thursday that Biden’s plans are more about “imposing a vision” Democrats like on Americans than helping families. 

“This administration wants to jack up taxes in order to nudge families toward the kinds of jobs Democrats want to have. In the kinds of industries Democrats want them to exist. With the kinds of cars Democrats want them to drive, using the kinds of child care arrangements Democrats want them to pursue,” McConnell said. “These plans aren’t about creating options and flexibility for Americans.”

McConnell also said Americans just elected “a 50-50 Senate, a very closely divided House and a president who talked a big game about cutting deals, bringing people together and building bridges.”

But, he said, Democrats are instead “addicted to divide and conquer. As our distinguished colleague Sen. Tim Scott put it last night, ‘They won’t even build bridges to build bridges.'”

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