Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday pledged that if GOP wins back control of Congress next year they could be a check against the Biden administration, forcing it into the political center.
McConnell, speaking at an event in Kentucky, said that American voters have a "big decision" to make in 2022 when control of both the House and Senate are up for grabs.
McConnell said when he made remarks last year that he could guarantee Biden would be a moderate, he thought he would remain the majority leader. Instead, Democrats won both Senate runoff elections in Georgia, giving them control of the 50-50 upper chamber through Vice President Kamala Harris’s ability to cast tie-breaking votes.
Republicans are feeling increasingly bullish about their chances of winning back the House, particularly as they look to take advantage of redistricting at the state level that could weaken Democrats' hold on key seats.
In the Senate, Democrats are defending 14 seats compared to Republicans' 20. Republicans view Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock (Ga.) and Mark Kelly (Ariz.) as top targets. The Cook Political Report rates both seats as "lean D."
Biden and White House officials have generally blamed Republicans for how his term is going so far, accusing GOP lawmakers of refusing to come to compromises on major issues like infrastructure and election reform.
The 2022 elections will see voters decide on who will hold 34 Senate seats, including 20 currently held by Republicans. Every seat in the House is up for grabs since terms are only two years.
Senator McConnell and Biden have a decades-long relationship including serving in the Senate together and cutting deals during the Obama administration. But McConnell has repeatedly said that he personally likes Biden while accusing his former colleague of shifting to the left.
"The notion that we have no collegiality, that we're all at each other's throats all the time is simply not true. But there are big differences between the parties," Senator McConnell said.
9 July 2021