Mitch McConnell; Joe Biden
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The Biden administration is moving ahead with a large jobs plan it insists it wants to be bipartisan.
A top advisor said he doesn't need Republican votes in Congress for an infrastructure plan to be bipartisan.
Bipartisanship “doesn't say the Republicans have to be in Congress,” advisor Anita Dunn told the Post.
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A top White House advisor said that President Joe Biden's multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan doesn't need Congressional Republican support to be considered bipartisan.
“If you looked up 'bipartisan' in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” Anita Dunn told the Washington Post. “It doesn't say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”
Another senior Biden advisor echoed that. “The Biden definition of bipartisanship is an agenda that unifies the country and appeals across the political spectrum,” Mike Donilon told the Post. “I think it's a pretty good definition to say you're pursuing an agenda that will unite the country, that will bring Democrats and Republicans together across the country.”
Their remarks are a fresh sign the Biden administration is prepared to claim a bipartisan victory on another part of their legislative agenda once it is passed, even if it does not secure a single Republican vote in Congress. Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan last month did not garner any GOP support in either chamber.
Parts of that package, though, like its $1,400 direct payments, were popular with Republican voters.
Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan includes major funding to repair roads and bridges and set up clean energy incentives. It also includes federal dollars for in-home elder care, public transit, broadband, and schools, among others. The White House wants to finance it through corporate tax hikes.
Segments of the infrastructure plan have drawn support from Republicans – Republican voters, that is. A strong majority of Republican voters backed the care-giving provision for elderly and disabled people in the plan, per a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll. They are more divided on paying for it with tax increases on multinational companies.
Biden is set to meet with a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers on Monday about his infrastructure plan. But Democrats say they are prepared to bypass the GOP using budget reconciliation if a deal fails to materialize.
“Our hand is extended. Let's find out where we can find our common ground,” House speaker Nancy Pelosi told CBS News on Sunday. “We always have a responsibility to strive for bipartisanship.”
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