Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell used an opportunity Wednesday to dodge a question about the infighting within the GOP House caucus and admit that he has no intention of negotiating in good faith with the White House and never did.
Asked about the effort to oust Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her leadership post, McConnell offered, "100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration ... 100% of my focus is on standing up to this administration."
McConnell also declared Senate Republicans’ "total unity" around obstructing President Joe Biden's efforts to end the pandemic, shore up the economy, and make a historic investment in the country’s future.
"What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country," McConnell said, apparently forgetting the fact that Democrats also exist in the U.S. Senate.
McConnell's comments came just one day after he promised there would "none, zero" support from Senate Republicans for Biden's new proposals to invest some $4 trillion in the nation's infrastructure and families. In essence, the negotiation was over for Republicans before it even began.
Asked at Wednesday's White House briefing about McConnell's 100% commitment to obstruction, press secretary Jen Psaki countered, "I guess the contrast for people to consider is, 100% of our focus is on delivering relief to the American people, getting the pandemic under control, and putting people back to work."
Psaki said Biden continued to "welcome" engagement with Republicans on his proposals. "The president has extended an open arm to that—the door to the Oval Office is open," she said, noting that he had invited the GOP's lead negotiator, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, to bring "the group of her choosing" to the White House.
McConnell's transparent commitment to making sure Biden fails at the expense of helping the nation succeed isn't lost on most Americans. An ABC News/Ipsos poll out this week found that 67% of respondents think Republicans are doing too little to compromise with Biden, while 60% said Biden was either compromising with Republicans about the right amount or even too much. In other words, congressional Republicans are killing bipartisanship, not Biden.
Here’s Jen Psaki: