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People Over Partisanship

By Sen. John Thune

February 5, 2021

President Biden pledged to be a president for all Americans. He reiterated that sentiment at his inauguration, stating, “On this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation.” But it’s not enough to talk about unity. It has to be matched with action. And too many of the president’s actions so far have been more calculated to appeal to the far-left wing of the Democrat Party than to unite Americans.

In his first two weeks in office, the president has signed off on a long list of executive actions, many of which read like a wish list of liberal priorities. In a nod to the far-left environmental wing of the Democrat Party, the president issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and called a halt to the Keystone XL pipeline. On day one of his presidency, President Biden effectively fired 2,000 pipeline workers and told another 9,000 to never show up.

Then, of course, there’s the president’s order halting construction of the wall on our southern border. The Biden administration has plans for sweeping immigration reform, but does not seem to be placing much of an emphasis on border security. Instead, they’ve reduced the wall to a symbol of the Trump administration and chose to satisfy immigration activists by halting construction – without offering alternate ways to secure our borders against a flood of illegal immigration or drug and human trafficking and other criminal activity.

Then of course there’s the president’s decision to overturn the Mexico City policy, which prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions in other countries. The majority of Americans do not believe in unrestricted abortion, yet the president has acted to ensure that American tax dollars can go to fund overseas abortions – whether Americans want them to or not. In addition, this administration has given every sign that it intends to pursue a radically pro-abortion agenda that is out of step with the views of the majority of Americans.

And most recently, the president teamed up with Senate Democrats to push through a partisan budget resolution designed to pave the way for a partisan COVID relief measure – despite the fact that Congress has produced five prior COVID relief packages and appropriated trillions of dollars on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis.

Now is the time for President Biden to show whether he really intends to live up to his inaugural pledge and unify our nation. That means not just talk, but action. It means working with lawmakers of both parties to develop legislation – not pushing exclusively Democrat measures. It means urging Democrat congressional leaders to actually negotiate with Republicans, instead of trying to force through an agenda that lacks the support of half or more of the country. And it means focusing less on checking off the priorities of the far left and more on actually representing the views of a majority of Americans.