Republicans expect President Joe Biden to be more interested in forging relationships with GOP House leadership if, as expected, the lower chamber flips in the upcoming midterm elections, The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.
"Maybe it's optimism, but I think it will change when [Biden] wants his second two years to be ... somewhat productive," said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a California Republican. "That means our side will actually have to be sitting around hashing some stuff."
Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican who is close with House leadership, said that “this White House has gone back to a less successful way of working with Hill leaders, frankly, to their own peril, to their detriment. They're going to have to shift if Republicans take control in a mighty way if they hope to have any success."
But Brendan Buck, who was a senior adviser to former Republican Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, pointed out that perhaps the key question facing current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be how much latitude his own party gives him to work with Biden, especially on something, for example, as politically unpopular with Republicans as raising the debt limit.
"It's never popular in your own party and more specifically, within your own conference, to be working too closely with a Democratic president," Buck said. "Kevin will always have to balance being the loyal opposition with the basic necessities of governance that come along with being speaker of the house."
It does not help that the tolerance from Republicans for such cooperation has fallen significantly over recent years.
However, Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, put hope in the fact that McCarthy and Biden are skilled politicians who thrive on personal relationships.
“They’re naturally gregarious people,” Cole said. Biden “is a hail-fellow-well-met classic politician who likes to make a deal, and so is Kevin. Their consuming singular interest is politics. So I actually can see the basis of some really good deals.”
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