WASHINGTON – In President Joe Biden’s first Joint Address to Congress Wednesday, he pointed optimistically to the nation’s emergence from the coronavirus scourge as a moment for America to prove that its democracy can still work and maintain primacy in the world.
“I can report to the nation: America is on the move again,” he said. “Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.”
U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) echoed that sentiment in a statement released prior to the address
“This new Administration has done far more in its First 100 Days than just tackle the pandemic and help families and small businesses,” Durbin said. “President Biden is preparing our nation to be competitive in the 21st century—so that Americans will continue to lead the world and the economic recovery. This doesn’t happen automatically, we have to put in the work. I’m proud to support him in this effort.”
Other legislators were more skeptical of Biden’s ability to lead the charge.
Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) took to Twitter to say Biden’s first 100 days in office have been “marked by a take-it-or-leave-it approach on massive, sweeping initiatives that have long been wish items for the left.”
Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN)questioned whether Biden and Democrats in Congress were serious about bipartisan cooperation.
“Once again, President Biden gave a speech calling for unity and bipartisan cooperation to tackle the big issues facing the American people,” Bucshon said in a statement to the press. “There were a lot of areas that the President called for action on – namely infrastructure – that we could find common ground on. The problem is that we’ve heard this from the President before, when the reality has been that his administration and Democrats in Congress have shown no interest in working with Republicans in Congress to find common ground to advance commonsense policies.”
Bucshon said Biden and Democrats have “acted unilaterally to jam thru Congress far-left progressive policies.”
“While I can hope that maybe this time President Biden and Democrats in Congress really are serious about bipartisan cooperation, I have low expectations that such cooperation will actually come to pass,” he said. “Instead, I expect we will simply continue to see President Biden and Speaker Pelosi ignore issues facing our nation – like the crisis on our southern border – and continue jamming thru legislation that spends too much, taxes too much, and is focused on growing the size and scope of the federal government instead of growing economic opportunities for hard-working taxpayers.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.