McConnell: Biden has 'not done anything yet that could be characterized as moderate'
Senate Republican leader says he's "anxious to stop the Biden agenda, depending on what it is."
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Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that President Joe Biden hasn't "done anything yet that could be characterized as moderate."
McConnell was asked to elaborate on a previous comment he'd made that "one-hundred percent" of his focus is on "stopping" the Biden administration's agenda.
"I'm anxious to stop the Biden agenda, depending on what it is," McConnell said at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky. "At the risk of repeating myself, if we want to talk about infrastructure, we're very interested in talking about infrastructure that amounts to about $600 billion, not $4.1 trillion. My hope is if the president is unable to convince the narrow Democratic majority in the House and the 50-50 Senate to pass the $4.1 trillion bill, we can sit out and have a serious conversation."
McConnell said that 10 Republican members laid out an infrastructure plan at the White House that they believe could pass the Senate with bipartisan support.
"I want to do business with the president, but he needs to be a moderate," McConnell. "He said he was going to be a moderate during the campaign. I haven't seen that yet. I know him very well. We did deals together when he was vice president and President Obama was president and I was the Republican leader in the Senate as I am today. I like him personally. He's just not done anything yet that could be characterized as moderate."
Critics of McConnell's comment about focusing on "stopping this new administration" drew a parallel to McConnell's notorious statement about seeking to make Obama a "one-term president."
During the news conference, McConnell said he's concerned about inflation as a result of the amount of stimulus spending that's taken place during the coronavirus pandemic. He said the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that the Democratic-led Congress passed has made the inflation situation worse.
"The price of everything is going up dramatically," he said. "That is because of too much money being dumped into our country. According to, not just to me, but to Larry Summers, who was secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton and head of the Council of Economic Advisers under Barack Obama, who predicted back in January that if we pass this rescue package, we would have a serious inflationary problem that has developed."
He told reporters that business owners during a roundtable discussion he attended noted they are having trouble finding workers to fill job openings. McConnell said the added $300 supplemental federal weekly unemployment benefits have made it harder for businesses, particularly restaurants, to hire workers.
"We have inflationary issues, and we have difficulty in getting people to do the work to meet the new demand that's out there," he said.