The vote for Biden’s 3.5 trillion dollar Build Back Better bill remains up in the air, as in-fighting in the Democratic party threatens to upend their razor-thin majorities in Congress. More, a government shutdown looms as lawmakers, especially Democratic lawmakers, seem more divided than ever.
Former Representative Peter King joined The Cats Roundtable to call for compromise between the parties at a time when Americans need to see results.
“I don’t know who can get Congress under control right now,” King worried, adding Democrats seemed disinterested in working with the other side, despite near 50-50 splits in both Houses.
“Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and President Biden are trying to ram through the kind of legislation that you’d need a landslide to get through.”
But King, a veteran of the congressional trenches, has seen the change the politics of the country has undergone. Despite the US being the milestone of democracy through history, the current political climate seemed to lack the spirit of compromise that defines it.
“They’re appealing to their bases,” King said about lawmakers, “and it’s very difficult to work out any sort of a compromise.”
For King and other Republicans ready to shake hands across the aisle, the fault lies with Democrats more and more unyielding to the radical tendencies in their caucus. He noted how House progressives have threatened to kill Biden’s 1.2 trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, which passed with bipartisan support in the Senate because it wasn’t the original 3 trillion asked for.
“I think it’s maybe a little too much money but I’d still probably vote for it,” King admitted to The Cats Roundtable. “But the progressives in the House democrats say that they won’t vote for it unless they get the full three and a half trillion. So, they’d rather get zero rather than get 1.2 trillion, because they want 3.5—I mean, it’s absolute insanity.”
The gulf between the parties hasn’t been wider. That was made more evident this past week as a video of US border agents confronting Haitian migrants went viral on the US-Mexico Border. Ignoring their own responsibility for the scenes from the border, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris joined other Democratic lawmakers in their condemnation of the border agents. King condemned the President and Vice President’s “anti-police mentality,” and told The Cats Roundtable it was unbelievable “the two top officials of the United States” would undercut law-enforcement officers in the line of duty.
To King, it showed a lack of common sense in the President’s policy, and perhaps a need to create excuses and scapegoats instead of taking responsibility. He noted the deadly drone strike on the eve of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a strike Biden’s State Department and the Pentagon described as targeting an ISIS threat, only to admit in September the strike had killed 10 civilians.
“Those innocent civilians were killed by a US drone attach shows us how important it is to have intelligence on the ground,” King told The Cats Roundabout. “If you’re going to be effective with those missile strikes, you have to have people on the ground giving us intelligence and not relying on long-distance camera shots.”