Mr. Biden frequently calls for bipartisanship, but that will require his leadership. He will have to work with Republican leaders to find areas of agreement before surfacing legislation. On Covid-19 stimulus, the president did nothing of the sort. Instead, he laid out his initiative without consulting Republicans and included several provisions and a $1.9 trillion price tag he knew were unacceptable to GOP lawmakers. Now, rather than quickly passing a bipartisan bill that strengthens vaccinations and gives the new administration an early victory, we hear talk of Democrats ramming Covid relief through on a party-line vote using the reconciliation procedure.
This is reminiscent of January 2009, when President Barack Obama cut off GOP suggestions for his stimulus bill by telling House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, “I won.” That helped poison that administration’s relationship with its loyal opposition and propelled the GOP back into the House majority in 2010.
Mr. Biden displayed a similar approach on immigration. The Biden transition team issued a four-page outline of its bill, heavy on a path to citizenship for illegal aliens (it appears many could become citizens before some standing in line legally today) and light on border security. The latter is especially troubling after the president halted construction of the border wall. The Obama-Biden administration helped build the wall, but since President Trump championed it, President Biden now opposes it.