Mitch McConnell has accused Joe Biden of being headed in ‘the wrong direction’ on his first full day in office.
McConnell, who until the Senate switched hands on Wednesday was the Majority Leader, said that he had been unimpressed with the initial actions of Biden, who he has known for decades, and accused him of being beholden to a left-wing fringe of his party.
Biden was in the Senate from 1973 to 2009.
McConnell, who like Biden is 78, has been in the Senate since 1985.
The Kentucky Republican, now Senate Minority Leader, was unimpressed by Biden’s actions on immigration, climate change, civil rights and COVID.
Mitch McConnell on Thursday expressed concern at Joe Biden’s initial moves as president
Biden, who has known McConnell for almost 40 years, spent his day undoing Trump policies
Biden signed 17 executive orders or actions on Wednesday afternoon, getting to work immediately after being sworn in at noon.
Many of his orders were to undo Donald Trump’s policies, such as revoking a permit for the Keystone Pipeline, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and removing a Trump-appointed general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board.
‘On the Biden administration’s very first day, it took several big steps in the wrong direction,’ McConnell said, adding that there is time for Biden to ‘remember that he does not owe his election to the far left.’
McConnell in particular pointed to Biden’s immigration reform as being problematic for him and his constituents.
Six of Biden’s 17 orders, memorandums and proclamations deal with immigration. He ordered efforts to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program known as DACA that has shielded hundreds of thousands of people who came to the U.S. as children from deportation since it was introduced in 2012. He also extended temporary legal status to Liberians who fled civil war and the Ebola outbreak to June 2022.
The Homeland Security Department announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations ‘for certain noncitizens,’ starting Friday, after Biden revoked one of Trump’s earliest executive orders making anyone in the country illegally a priority for deportations.
His most ambitious proposal, unveiled Wednesday, is an immigration bill that would give legal status and a path to citizenship to anyone in the United States before Jan. 1 — an estimated 11 million people — and reduce the time that family members must wait outside the United States for green cards.
Biden announced Wednesday the United States was rejoining the World Health Organization
‘The new administration has also sketched out a proposal for blanket amnesty that would gut enforcement for American laws while creating huge new incentives for people to rush here illegally at the same time,’ he said.
‘This kind of failed approach will invite another humanitarian crisis on our border.’
McConnell also reminded Biden and the slim Democratic Senate majority that Americans voted to keep a split Senate, with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats.
McConnell said that means Republicans intend to challenge policies they believe will have negative impacts on their constituents.
‘If and when our Democratic friends depart from common sense, when they retreat from common ground, when their proposals would harm the common good – then we’ll use the power the American people have given us to push for what is right,’ he told the Senate.
‘The president can and should refocus his administration on creating good-paying American jobs, not sacrificing our people’s livelihoods to liberal symbolism.’
McConnell and Biden, both 78, are pictured together in January 2016
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that he was ‘disappointed to see within hours of assuming office, the new administration was more interested in helping illegal immigrants than helping our own citizens, more interested in virtue signals to the climate activists than supporting the union workers who were building the Keystone pipeline,’ among other complaints.
McConnell and McCarthy’s rebukes will serve as a harsh wake-up call for those still bathing in the warm glow of Biden’s inauguration.
On Wednesday the new president used his address to the nation, on the steps of the Capitol, to urge unity and healing after four divisive years.
The rose-tinted glasses were quickly removed.
‘Every presidential inaugural is about unity,’ said Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way.
He told Politico: ‘But how do you do your presidential inauguration about unity at a moment when your predecessor tried to execute a coup two weeks before?’
Source: Daily Mail US