Democrats idea of “unity” is uniting behind their proposals. And if you don’t, your an extremist, a racist, or whatever.
Sen. Rob Portman, a moderate in the GOP caucus what wants to try to take President Biden seriously with respect to his call to set aside partisan rancor, is having some difficulty with the endeavor.
Republicans have a reasonable proposal that won’t bust the budget with vast new spending that may not be needed as the economy starts to improve. Biden is not taking them seriously.
From an op-ed Portman wrote in the Washington Post:
“Our country seems more divided along partisan lines than at any time I can remember. That’s why I was pleased to hear President Biden encourage bipartisanship in his inaugural address. I agree with his statement that, at “our historic moment of crisis and challenge … unity is the path forward.” Unfortunately, that rhetoric has not yet been matched by action.
“Most disappointing is the partisan approach the new administration is taking to the covid-19 pandemic, one of the few areas where there has been real bipartisanship over the past year. We know covid policy can be bipartisan, because Congress already passed five laws appropriating more than $4 trillion with huge bipartisan majorities. The most recent $900 billion package passed at the end of December by a vote of 92 to 6.
“The basis for this year-end legislation came from a bipartisan group of five Democrats and five Republicans who worked over several weeks to come up with the $900 billion consensus package. As a member of that group, I am convinced we can find that common ground again.
“Yet the new administration has chosen to go around Republicans this time, not just by proposing a huge $1.9 trillion package with no consultation with any Republican — or Democrat — in the bipartisan working group, but also by trying to pass the $1.9 trillion plan under reconciliation, bypassing the normal 60-vote Senate margin. In a 50-50 Senate, Democrats seem determined to proceed without a single Republican vote.”