President Biden has pleasantly surprised progressive lawmakers in the Democratic Party throughout the first several weeks since he took office, The Washington Post reports. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called his agenda “bold” and “transformative,” adding that “where candidate Joe Biden started is different from where President Joe Biden started.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile, compared Biden favorably to former President Franklin Roosevelt, arguing that just as Roosevelt understood during the Great Depression, Biden is aware “this country today faces a series of unprecedented crises.”
At the same time, Republicans are confident the tide will turn against Biden thanks to “classic Democratic overreach,” Doug Andres, the press secretary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told the Post. Chris Hartline, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, pinpointed immigration as the issue that could come back to bite Biden. “Democrats saw the 2020 election as a repudiation of all of [former President Donald] Trump’s policies and all of the Republicans’ policies, when in fact the things we’ve proposed on immigration are very popular, in a way that not just unifies our base but also helps us bring back a lot of the moderates and independents and Hispanic voters,” he told the Post.
Even some Democrats agree Biden can’t leave the GOP completely in the dust. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said “we have to have bipartisan cooperation if we’re going to tackle” issues like immigration. “We don’t want to pass these with Democratic votes alone,” he continued. “And I’m not talking about one or two Republicans; I’m talking about a significant number of votes from the opposing party.” Read more at The Washington Post.