Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden Thursday to urge the administration to not negotiate with Republicans, and instead use the tactic of reconciliation to pass Biden’s infrastructure package.
The letter from “influential progressive and environmental groups,” including the Service Employees International Union, Environmental Defense Fund, and Working Families Party, begins:
We write to once again urge you to seize this critical window of opportunity to pass bold jobs and economic investment legislation that responds to the interwoven crises facing this country. We need immediate action that will build a more just, equitable, clean, and more prosperous economy.
“Specifically, we urge you to swiftly pass legislation that invests at least $4 trillion throughout the economy over this presidential term, bound by high-road labor, equity and climate standards,” the letter continues. “Those who argue for small-minded measures are on the wrong side of history.”
A signatory and founder of the Center for American Progress John Podesta told Politico negotiating with Republicans is a “risky strategy.”
Politico reports, “While Podesta said he and the letter’s other authors recognize the president’s negotiations with Republicans are likely needed to secure enough Democratic support for the plans in the end, they want to see more of a sense of urgency from the White House.”
“They are smart people, and they’ve been successful and effective, so I respect that,” Podesta said of Biden’s advisers. “But [talking] only works for so long. The clock is ticking. Would we rather just do one big package for reconciliation? You bet.”
McConnell, speaking alongside McCarthy after meeting with Biden:
"We're not interested in reopening the 2017 tax bill, we both made that clear to the president, that's our red line," McConnell says. pic.twitter.com/lfl3Mtvoi7
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) May 12, 2021
In light of the meeting, Jimmy Williams Jr. of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades warned Biden that negotiating with Republicans “would be a missed opportunity. And it would be a wasted opportunity.”
“History has shown that when one piece is done, the Republican Party — at least under Mitch McConnell’s leadership — has moved to an obstructionist position in the government,” said Williams. “And I think we would hate to see history repeat itself.”