Biden is redefining what “bipartisan” means as his administration is trying to push for bills without Republican votes.
Biden previously vowed to bridge the partisan political divide. However, as the Democratic party is struggling to gain Republican support for massive spending bills that Biden is trying to push, his administration appears to be redefining what “bipartisan” means.
First, Biden’s $1.9 Trillion COVID relief package was passed even without a single vote from Republican lawmakers, and now Biden’s massive infrastructure package is again facing strong Republican opposition. Yet Biden insists he does enjoy support from both parties, however, pointing to Republican voters and officials outside the Beltway.
Senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn told the Washington Post, “If you looked up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats. It doesn’t say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”
Biden’s senior adviser Mike Donilon referred to the President’s new definition of “bipartisan” as “an agenda that unifies the country and appeals across the political spectrum.”
“If you looked up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” Anita Dunn tells me. “It doesn’t say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”https://t.co/xEm9CBdhfz
— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) April 12, 2021
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.” He added, “Presumably, if you have an agenda that is broadly popular with Democrats and Republicans across the country, then you should have elected representatives reflecting that.”
Meanwhile, former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel made a comment about the shift and told the Washington Post that what has become crystal clear is that Biden has redefined bipartisan.
Emanuel also went on to explain and said, “it isn’t how many Republicans I’ve got,” but “about how many Republican voters or mayors and governors can I get to support my stuff.” He added, “And Washington is slow to catch up to the Biden definition.”
Biden also recognized the shift toward the public and away from Republican officials when he was talking about his “American Jobs Plan” at the end of March.
The President said, “When I wrote it, everybody said I had no bipartisan support. We’re overwhelming bipartisan support with Republican – registered Republican voters.” He continued, “And ask around. If you live in a town with a Republican mayor, a Republican county executive, or a Republican governor, ask them how many would rather get rid of the plan. Ask them if it helped them at all.”
Biden added, “I hope Republicans in Congress will join this effort.”
The changing definition of “bipartisan” reach a time when Democrats have been maintaining the substance of the infrastructure bill by redefining the definition of “infrastructure.”
Olbermann said, “[W]hen you drain a word of its meaning, you damage its impact, your cause, and the value of language.”
Last week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NBC that the Biden administration would like to have the support of both Republican and Democrat lawmakers for the infrastructure bill.
However, Buttigieg emphasized that lack of Republican support would not stop them from pushing the massive $2.2 Trillion “Infrastructure Plan”
“We can’t let politics slow this down to where it doesn’t actually happen,” he said.