Biden Works to Leverage Senate Ties to Power His Agenda

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Instead, Mr. Biden has gone out of his method to court docket Republicans, treating them to his first official Oval Office meeting — an honor he knew, as a former senator, would flatter them — from which they emerged with no agreements, however a palpable sense of bonhomie.

“The president was very gracious,” Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican who mentioned schooling funding with Mr. Biden, stated after their meeting. “If we’re going to go forward as a country, we have to do a better job than we’ve been doing of figuring where those who disagree with us are coming from.”

Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican who gushed to the president about how good it was to speak with different people in the course of the pandemic, confessed to his colleagues after their meeting that Mr. Biden “knew more about his plan than we did and Joe Biden knew more about the Republicans’ plan than they did,” Mr. Carper recalled.

When climate prevented Senator Mike Rounds, Republican of South Dakota, from attending in individual, he known as in to one meeting with Mr. Biden, whom he later described as “cordial,” “interested” and “engaged.” Mr. Rounds advised the president that he had personally acquired a stimulus test — proof, the senator argued, that the following spherical of aid funds ought to be extra focused.

“He made it clear that he thought that the relationships that he had established in the United States Senate were still pretty important,” Mr. Rounds stated. “But he didn’t give up any of the aces that he may have in his hand.”

Yet Mr. Biden is utilizing the classes to domesticate relationships with necessary potential allies.

Senator Jon Tester, a centrist Democrat from Montana who could possibly be a vital swing vote on the stimulus plan, stated after his viewers with Mr. Biden that in his 14 years within the Senate, no president had ever invited him to the Oval Office earlier than.

“I’m going to be honest with you: It was pretty emotional for me,” Mr. Tester stated. “I told the president that.”

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