At his heart, President Joe Biden is a deal maker.
It was a trait that was ingrained in him for all those many years he called the Senate his home—at first representing his beloved Delaware and then presiding over it as Vice President.
Now as President, he has signed more than 350 bipartisan laws that were supported by both Democrats and Republicans. And those bills have included the defining ones of his Presidency, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.
All those years of negotiating deals with Republicans on the other side of the table led last week to the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the deal which suspends the debt ceiling for two years while cutting spending over the next 10 years that will cut the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion.
The legislation passed both chambers with significant support from both Democrats and Republicans. Leading that bipartisan charge was the Problem Solvers Caucus and its 64 members giving their stamp of approval.
“In a divided government, you have to actually work together to find a solution that can make it across the finish line,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair, before the House vote. “In the end, this vote will happen from the middle out and the Problem Solvers will play a key role in getting this legislation across the finish line and preventing a default.”
Our mission statement is very clear—the extremes of each party have too much influence in our politics today. The centerists of each party are key to keep pushing this country forward. Groups like the Problem Solvers Caucus and the President showed that again last week.
In his bones, President Biden is a centrist who knows to accomplish anything of significance in Washington you will not get everything you want but you fight for those that you believe in—not letting perfection get in the way of progress.
Or as the President said about the debt deal, “no one got everything they wanted, but the American people got what they needed.”
If you don’t believe us about President Biden believing in bipartisanship , look at his actions and words.
In his first address to the nation from the Oval Office Friday night, Biden’s first two paragraphs were about the need for both parties to work together.
My fellow Americans, when I ran for President, I was told the days of bipartisanship were over and that Democrats and Republicans could no longer work together. But I refused to believe that, because America can never give into that way of thinking.
Look, the only way American democracy can function is through compromise and consensus, and that’s what I worked to do as your President — you know, to forge a bipartisan agreement where it’s possible and where it’s needed.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who deserves praise as well for making the deal, used the leverage he had to get the President and Democrats to the table to start us down a fiscal road that will reduce our debt and put limits on spending. GOP lawmakers are right about this issue and, despite the methods they used, this is a good first step to having real conversations about budget and fiscal priorities and policies.
Critics will see the Oval Office address as more about a candidate running for re-election that they have serious concerns about serving another four years. They aren’t necessarily wrong as Biden’s speech did spend a good amount of time detailing his accomplishments over the last two and a half years.
But they would lose sight of why the office of FDR and Reagan, Obama and Bush was the right setting for our current President to renew his call for bipartisanship and the need for everyone to take a step back to realize despite our differences, we can work together.
“I know bipartisanship is hard and unity is hard, but we can never stop trying, because in moments like this one…there is no other way,’ said President Biden. “No matter how tough our politics gets, we need to see each other not as adversaries, but as fellow Americans. Treat each other with dignity and respect. To join forces as Americans to stop shouting, lower the temperature, and work together to pursue progress, secure prosperity, and keep the promise of America for everybody.”
“As I’ve said in my inaugural address, without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. And we can never become that country.”
This is the continued fight for Biden and should be for all of us. Democrats and Republicans and Independents, extreme liberals and conservatives, wherever you fall on the political spectrum, know that the political landscape of our country is truly determined on who you elect.
We ask that you ignore the extremes and continue to support those willing to work with those on the other side of the aisle to get things done.