Joe Biden has vowed to pass a massive infrastructure bill without GOP support if necessary, after a high stakes meeting at the White House with top Republicans.
The president on Wednesday met in the Oval Office with top Republicans Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy to discuss if they can work together on Mr Biden’s wish to invest heavily in rebuilding and renewing the nation’s fading infrastructure.
After the meeting Mr McCarthy, the GOP leader in the House of Representatives, said Republicans were willing to work with the president, but would not support any tax increases to pay for the programmes.
“You won’t find any Republicans who are gonna go raise taxes. I think that’s the worst thing you can do in this economy,” said Mr McCarthy, who earlier in the day had overseen the removal of Liz Cheney from her position as the third-ranking Republican in the lower chamber.
Mr Biden had campaigned for the presidency with a vow to work with Republicans to pass bills to address the nation’s most pressing needs.
Yet after the meeting he said while he would rather work with Republicans to pass his programme, he was also prepared to do so alone if he needed to.
“I want to make it clear. I want to get a bipartisan deal on as much as we get a bipartisan deal on. And that means roads, bridges, broadband and all infrastructure,” he said in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.
“But I’m not giving up on the fact that we have 2 million women not able to go back to work because all the daycare centers are closed, they’re out of business. And so they can’t go back to work.”