Not long ago, Mitch McConnell once had a laugh about the most significant legislation in the Senate under his tenure being the things that he prevented from happening. This was before the Trump presidency – before he killed over 400 bills before they were voted on by the Senate floor. He even bragged that his proudest moment as majority leader was the day he told President Obama that he wouldn’t let the president fill Justice Scalia’s former seat.
He’s still up to the same old tricks as then – but he’s got a lot less power than he did back in 2016 and President Biden knows it. That’s why when he was pressed on McConnell’s threats to kill the newly proposed infrastructure bill, President Biden simply laughed it off: “If the Republicans argue that we don’t need infrastructure, they’ve been talking about the need for it for years now. If the Republicans decide that we need it, but they are not going to pay for it it is just going to increase the deficit.”
In just a few words, he’s summed up the exact strategy that McConnell and his supporters have been pushing for at least the last decade. They like to point out what’s needed, but aren’t willing to invest in it, and they’ve put a priority first on making sure their opposition fails at everything. The overwhelming majority of Americans are not only supportive of updating the nation’s infrastructure, but also in support of Biden’s plan to pay for it, and should Republicans continue to obstruct and refuse their support, President Biden has given the perfect talking point for Democrats running in 2022 to use against them.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making