President Joe Biden has no obligation to negotiate with Republicans to pass legislation, but Senate Republicans are now whining through their staffers about not having a seat at the table.
A group of ten so-called “moderate” Republicans have sought to reach compromises with the White House on the Democrats’ legislative agenda, only to offer beyond inadequate alternative legislation that wouldn’t help Americans.
For instance, Democrats used reconciliation to pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law last month without a single Republican vote. The “compromise” these ten Republicans offered was a mere $600 billion package that slashed stimulus payments from $1,400 to $1,000 and offered paltry sums to address other needs in the face of a crisis that has dragged on for more than a year because of Republican negligence.
Rather than good faith negotiations, Republicans would have mired Democrats in talks that would have gone nowhere while delaying real relief to millions of Americans who desperately need help.
Republicans don’t want compromise, they want their way or no way at all. And we can look no further than when the GOP passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy back in 2017 using reconciliation or when they jammed through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court just weeks before the 2020 Election.
Of course, that hypocrisy isn’t stopping Republicans from complaining by proxy.
“It’s a f*cking nightmare,” a Republican staffer claimed according to Politico. “Biden is a horrible villain for us. There are deeply entrenched narratives that have some truth but are no longer totally true. Reporters believe them despite all evidence to the contrary.”
Again, $600 billion is a pitiful “compromise” that would not have gone far enough to help Americans and get our country through the pandemic. And even if Biden had agreed with these Republicans, their track record of obstruction makes them untrustworthy. After all, let’s not forget that Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) consistently voted for disgraced former President Donald Trump’s agenda without caring even a little bit about compromising with Democrats over the last four years. Now she wants a seat at the table?
Republicans are also complaining about seemingly being used as props.
“If you get an invitation to the White House, you go to the White House,” another staffer said. “But regardless, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. When you go to the White House meeting you risk being used in a feigned attempt at bipartisanship. If you don’t go then it’s, ‘Oh, Republicans won’t even meet with me.’ It all pivots on whether it’s a genuine offer from the White House or just part of their messaging strategy.”
If Republicans actually offered real compromise, maybe they would be taken more seriously. But just like they did when former President Barack Obama took office, Republicans have made it their mission to make Biden fail rather than be a constructive part of solving the nation’s problems. Let’s also not pretend that Trump did not try to use Democrats as props when he invited them to the White House. It’s just he was terrible at it while Biden is not.
“Everything they support is defined as either COVID relief or infrastructure, and everything they oppose is like … Jim Crow voter suppression and evil, and you constantly just feel like you’re in this gaslighting chamber of insanity. But it’s working,” a GOP aide complained.
That’s really rich coming from the GOP since gaslighting and insanity was a feature of Trump’s administration. Meanwhile, Biden has shown true leadership and compassion and is working to get the job done with or without Republicans. Also, GOP voter suppression efforts are real and can be compared to Jim Crow and are evil. That’s just the truth.
If Republicans want a seat at the table they need to act like adults and actually offer constructive compromise instead of expecting Biden and Democrats to agree to their demands. They are the minority party now, and if they don’t want to be treated like they treated Democrats, they had better stop complaining and start negotiating in good faith complete with bills that offer more than just the bare minimum. In other words, start doing their jobs. Because Biden is definitely doing his and a majority of Americans approve.
Featured Image: Screenshot