President Biden is wasting no time as House Republicans flounder

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Early Saturday morning, Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House after 15 rounds of voting, a craziness the likes of which have not been seen since the middle of James Buchanan’s presidency. In a statement, President Joe Biden congratulated McCarthy while framing the next two years by calling for leaders to govern in a way that puts the American people’s needs “above all else.”

Biden reiterated his willingness to work with Republicans “when I can” and pointed out that voters expect the same of the GOP. Cautioning against destroying the economic progress of the past two years, which have been “the best years for job growth on record,” while protecting Social Security and Medicare and defending our national security, Biden explained that bipartisanship is needed.

For cynics who accuse Biden of now embracing bipartisanship simply because the House of Representatives is now under Republican control, they should remember how Biden urged in his inaugural address that “unity is the path forward,” and that “[w]e have never, ever, ever failed when we have acted together.” Biden can now say with accuracy that “[a]s the last two years show, we can do profound things for the country when we do them together.”

On Thursday, while Republicans slogged through their messy speakership ballots, revealing the extent of their internal divisions, the White House issued a press release announcing that Biden signed a whopping 34 bills into law that very day. This large sampling of legislation, products of the 117th Congress, reveals the great extent of bipartisan efforts under the Biden administration.

Biden thanked Republican Senators John Cornyn and Lindsey Graham and Republican Representatives Tony Gonzales and Brian Fitzpatrick for working with Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons and Representatives Jim Costa and Dina Titus, respectively, to pass the Respect for Child Survivors Act, which empowers the FBI to apply greater resources toward child sexual exploitation cases. As another of several examples, Biden thanked Republican Senator Richard Burr and Representative Don Bacon along with Democratic Senator Cory Booker and Representative Bobby Rush for posthumously awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley.


In November, as the midterm results were tallied, Biden wasted no time announcing his renewed commitment to work with everyone, while also noting that “[t]he American people have made clear, I think, that they expect Republicans to be prepared to work with me as well.” It is hard to imagine this new iteration of House Republicans cooperating with Democrats, let alone themselves. However, America is watching—and in next year’s election, America will once again be voting.

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