By: Jon Delano
WASHINGTON (KDKA) - President Biden met Monday afternoon with Republican lawmakers in an effort to seek bipartisan support for his infrastructure building plan.
The President says he's open to compromise with Republicans, but what that compromise looks like is hard to see.
It's not hard for most Americans, regardless of political party, to see the urgent need to upgrade our roads, bridges, locks and dams, airports, public transportation, electrical grids, and high-speed broadband connections.
"When you take a look at the bills that Joe Biden has proposed, they are overwhelmingly bipartisan in terms of the support of the American people," Jaime Harrison, the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
"The people on Capitol Hill – that's a whole different thing."
Harrison says Republican lawmakers are just out of touch with what Americans want.
"What I would hope is that the Republicans would actually listen to the people in their districts rather than listen to the special interests that are pulling them in the opposite direction," says Harrison.
"They should get rid of the pork. Get rid of the nonsense," replies Paris Dennard, national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.
"Get rid of things that are not traditional infrastructure and have a bill the Republicans can come to the table with."
Calling the Biden plan bloated and too expensive, Dennard threw cold water on compromise, saying this about the Democrats.
"They want to propose a plan. They want to have control of the House, the Senate, and the White House but then turn to Republicans and say, fix it."
"Republicans are not going to be the party of fixing the problems of Democrats while they're in power. What we're going to do is make sure that Republicans get elected so we can put forth our agenda."
But Harrison says Republicans had their chance and failed.
"You know what. They had the White House, they had the House, they had the Senate and they didn't pass meaningful infrastructure plan. Where they failed, this president will succeed," says the DNC chair.
Whether President Biden can succeed without Republican votes in the Senate may depend on procedural maneuvers more than anything else because, at least right now, compromise seems challenging.
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