President Joe Biden joked he would easily achieve an infrastructure deal with Republican members of Congress on Wednesday, during a meeting with Congressional leadership.
When asked by reporters about how compromise was achievable, Biden replied wryly, “Easy. Just snap my fingers. It will happen.”
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the White House Wednesday morning.
“When I ran I said I wasn’t going to be a Democratic president, I was going to be a president for all Americans,” Biden said to reporters at the beginning of the meeting.
Biden failed to mention the only major piece of signed legislation of his presidency was a coronavirus rescue plan passed with Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris voting to break the tie.
The president repeatedly voiced interest in compromising with Republicans on infrastructure but has demanded higher corporate tax rates and a dramatic increase in taxes for Americans making more than $400,000. Republicans do not want to raise any taxes.
“What the bottom line here is, we’re going to see whether we can reach some consensus on a compromise on movement forward, we’re going to talk a lot about infrastructure today,” he said.
The White House has described Biden’s “red lines” in the negotiation as “inaction” and raising taxes on people making less than $400,000.
“We’ll see if there’s any way we can reach a compromise that gets the people’s works done within the bounds of everybody agreeing,” Biden said.