Joe Biden’s first major trip of the year is slated to include an uncommon joint appearance with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The event will take place in Kentucky Wednesday, with an expected emphasis on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Biden signed into law.
McConnell infamously defended his support for the giant spending package, opining that sending monetary help to Ukrainians so they can beat Russia “is the number one priority for the United States right now according to most Republicans.”
.@cwtremo: Between rampant inflation, a homelessness crisis, a deteriorating education system, a college student loan crisis, a wealth gap, an enormous national debt, and a culture war, there is no justifiable reason Ukraine should be the "No. 1 priority."https://t.co/rEYfxOAoYQ
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) December 23, 2022
Many polls have indicated that McConnell’s claims do bear out in reality.
As the Daily Wire reported, the trillion-dollar-plus bill, known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, marks one of Biden’s first major legislative initiatives as president.
Biden plans to speak about “how his economic plan is rebuilding our infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, and revitalizing communities left behind,” according to a Sunday statement by the White House.
Upon being asked why it is important to meet up with McConnell, Biden answered, “It’s his state,” the two have “been friends a long time,” and that “It’s a giant state and there’s a lot of money.”
There are no two parties.
— Malcom Jayne (@aimtomisb3hav3) January 2, 2023
Others joining the meeting according to White House reports include Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY), Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH).
DeWine declared last week that over $1 billion in funding from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law would be allocated for rebuilding the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Kentucky and Ohio.
The event is part of an effort the White House is making to promote bipartisanship and a willingness to reach across the aisle, according to The Hill.
Deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told reporters that Biden begins the new year “with his hand outstretched to both parties in Congress, ready to keep putting country ahead of party and staying steadfastly focused on the needs of American families above all else.”
This appears to be a change in strategy given past statements from the administration; Biden infamously castigated those who support the ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda as engaging in “semi-fascism.”
“What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism,” Biden said at an August donor event.
Other high-ranking members of Biden’s administration will be traveling around the country this week to “discuss how the President’s economic plan is rebuilding our infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs – jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, and revitalizing communities left behind,” per a White House official.
Vice President Kamala Harris is slated to visit Chicago while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg plans on going to New London, Connecticut.