Biden: GOP Seems to Be ‘Trying to Identify What it Stands For’

The president noted his three decades plus in the Senate and said he doesn’t remember any time when a party was in such internal tumult.

By Susan Milligan

The Republican Party is in a historically long and difficult “mini-revolution,” still trying to figure out who they are and what they stand for, President Biden said Wednesday.

But no hard feelings: He’s still willing to host them at the White House to discuss sincere compromises to the massive spending packages he’s proposed to Congress.

Biden, speaking to reporters after delivering an address touting the already-passed American Rescue Plan, was walking away from the podium when a reporter asked him his thoughts on the House GOP effort to oust from its leadership ranks Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and who has continued to take her party to task for repeating the lie that he really won the 2020 election.

“It seems as though the Republcian Party is trying to identify what it stands for,” Biden replied. The GOP is “in the midst of a significant sort of a mini-revolution going on,” he added.

The president noted his three decades plus in the Senate and said he doesn’t remember any time like this when a party was in such internal tumult.

“The Republicans are further away from trying to figure out who they are and what they stand for than I thought they would be,” Biden said. And it hurts everyone, he added.

“We badly need a Republican Party. We need a two-party system. It’s not healthy to have a one-party system,” he said.

Biden, of course, is not benefiting from a one-party system as he endeavors to pass a $2.2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan and an American Families Plan that would provide four extra years of free schooling – two years of pre-K and two years of community college – along with paid family leave and other items. The White House says the plan would cost $1.8 trillion over the next decade, but an estimate released this week by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan research group at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, puts the price tag at $2.5 trillion.

Biden said he is open to negotiating on his plans, the first of which would be paid for by raising corporate taxes to 28% from the current 21% and the second of which would be covered by increasing taxes on people making more than $400,000 a year.

“It doesn’t have to be exactly what I say,” he said. “I’m willing to compromise. But I’m not willing to not pay for what we’re talking about.”

The president’s tone then grew annoyed, as he noted that Republicans, during his predecessor’s administration, passed a $2 trillion tax cut Biden said added to the deficit and helped rich people almost exclusively.

“Show me where the growth is – what’s it being invested in?” Biden said. Meanwhile, he said, his plan to provide two years of free community college “benefits everybody” and “hurts nobody,” he said.

Biden is expected to meet with members of Congress next week to discuss the spending plans. House Republicans, meanwhile, are widely expected to oust Cheney as House Republican Conference chairwoman.