Moderate Republicans Frustrated With Biden Negotiations

Staffers of a group of moderate Republicans known as the G-10 have been expressing how frustrated the group has been with the White House’s successful legislative push without bipartisan input.

The ten Republican senators say they are itching to negotiate deals with Biden but feel they’ve been pushed to the sidelines, a real bewilderment since being the center of attention in Donald Trump’s White House.

Most of them despised Trump, and generally respect Biden, but feel the new president’s call for “unity” has been misrepresented as they lament becoming irrelevant. They characterize Biden as difficult to villainize, and blame the media for promoting the theory of Republican obstruction.

The “G-10” senators are: SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO of West Virginia, BILL CASSIDY of Louisiana, SUSAN COLLINS of Maine, JERRY MORAN of Kansas, LISA MURKOWSKI of Alaska, ROB PORTMAN of Ohio, MITT ROMNEY of Utah, MIKE ROUNDS of South Dakota, THOM TILLIS of North Carolina and TODD YOUNG of Indiana.

Their first opportunity to deal was the Biden COVID-19 relief bill.

They finally had both a normal president, one who understood the Senate better than any president since LBJ, and one who recognized the G-10 as the center of power in Congress. The staffer joked that they were so giddy about the meeting that they had to be told to “calm down” and “play it cool.”

But they complained that the day after the summit that Chuck Schumer came out with an outline of a plan to pass with just 50 votes. And following new negotiations over the infrastructure bill, Biden said that the Republican group “didn’t move an inch” from their original proposal in the COVID-19 talks. They complained in a statement, saying, “The Administration roundly dismissed our effort as wholly inadequate in order to justify its go-it-alone strategy.”

Now the jobs bill is the next dilemma on the docket, and the G-10 fear they will be used as “window dressing” or “props” for the Biden White House to villainize them.

One staffer begrudgingly acknowledges how successful Biden has been with how things have played out so far.

“Everything they support is defined as either Covid relief or infrastructure, and everything they oppose is like … Jim Crow voter suppression and evil,” this G-10 aide said. “And you constantly just feel like you’re in this gaslighting chamber of insanity. But it’s working.”

Our latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll suggests that Biden continues to hit the sweet spot in terms of highlighting popular measures, even on fraught issues like gun control. No wonder Republicans are frustrated. Some toplines:

  • Sixty-four percent of voters support stricter gun control laws in the United States.
  • Sixty-three percent of voters support Biden’s executive order to limit the spread of “ghost guns.”
  • A plurality of American voters somewhat or strongly support (46%; 28% oppose) Biden’s executive order to increase regulation of stabilizing braces, which can turn a pistol into a kind of rifle that ordinarily would require stricter government controls.
  • Seventy-three percent of voters support employees’ right to bargain collectively for workplace conditions.
  • Biden’s overall job approval is 60%.

See more at Politico.