Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that it might appear that he and other Senate Republicans are out to defeat every proposal Democratic President Joe Biden puts forth, but that's just not so.
"If I become the majority leader again, it's not for stopping everything," McConnell said at an event in Covington, Kentucky, the state he represents, Fox News reported. "It's for stopping the worst. It's for stopping things that fundamentally push the country into a direction that at least my party feels is not a good idea for the country."
McConnell and Biden were colleagues in the Senate for years before Biden was elected vice president in 2008. McConnell was majority leader until Republicans lost their majority when Biden was elected president in November.
The current balance is 50-50 with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote when necessary, thus giving Democrats control of the upper chamber.
But until he can regain his role as majority leader, McConnell said, he will hold Biden accountable to the platform of moderation that he ran on rather than giving in to the progressive members of his party.
"I can make sure Biden keeps his promise in '20 to be a moderate," McConnell said.
It isn't the first time McConnell has pledged to hold Democrats' feet to the fire. In 2010, he told the National Journal that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President [Barack] Obama to be a one-term president."
In May of this year, he said, "One hundred percent of my focus is standing up to this administration."
Such comments likely are behind the thoughts that McConnell might be fighting anything Biden proposes. Nevertheless, McConnell said there is friendliness and cooperation across party lines in the Senate.
McConnell said, for example, that he is "still hopeful" of seeing a bipartisan deal on police reform being hammered out between Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Democrats.
"The notion that we have no collegiality, that we're all at each other's throats all the time is simply not true," he said.
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