Republican Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoBiden land management pick faces GOP scrutiny over decades-old tree spiking case Senate passes long-delayed China bill OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE (Wyo.) last week said he wants to make President BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE a “one-half term president” in 2022 by ensuring that Democrats no longer have complete control in Washington.
“I’m looking forward to a very successful 2022,” Barrasso said during a breakfast discussion hosted by The Ripon Society on Thursday.
“I want to make Joe Biden a one-half term president. And I want to do that by making sure they no longer have the House, Senate, and White House,” he added.
When asked if he was advocating for removing Biden from office before his first term is up, Laura Mengelkamp, the senator’s communications director, told The Hill he was referring to the GOP winning the House and Senate next year, which would take away Democratic control of Washington and help Republicans win the White House in the next general election cycle.
“Sen. Barrasso’s remarks discussed his work to make sure Republicans take both the Senate and House in 2022, which would be the best way to effectively stop President Biden from moving his liberal agenda post-midterms, and position Republicans to win the White House in 2024,” Mengelkamp told The Hill.
Barrasso noted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Jayapal to Dems: Ditch bipartisanship, go it alone on infrastructure The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Biden’s European trip MORE (R-Ky.) made similar comments about wanting former President Obama to be a one-term president on the eve of the 2010 midterm elections.
“Mitch McConnell came under a lot of criticism for saying at one point he wanted to make sure that Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama: Fox News viewers ‘perceive a different reality’ than other Americans Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide Ending the same-sex marriage wars MORE was a one-term president,” Barrasso said.
Barrasso, who serves as chair of the Senate Republican conference, also attacked the Senate Democratic caucus for not making efforts to attract Republican cooperation, accusing the party of “heading as far to the left as they can.”
“There’s a 50-50 Senate, which should be a mandate to move to the middle. Instead, they seem to be heading as far to the left as they can,” Barrasso said.
Barrasso also weighed in on the infrastructure battle transpiring in Washington, as the White House and congressional negotiators work to land a bipartisan package.
A chief sticking point among the parties has been how to pay for the infrastructure investments. Barrasso, during the breakfast discussion, advocated for an infrastructure package to be paid for with repurposed COVID-19 funding, which the White House previously said it would not lean toward.
“But there’s a lot of money out there that, as [Sen.] Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler launches Missouri Senate bid Cryptocurrency industry lobbies Washington for ‘regulatory clarity’ Bipartisan group prepping infrastructure plan as White House talks lag MORE who’s on the Appropriations Committee is pretty clear about, is orphaned money from the first five bipartisan coronavirus relief bills that are pretty specific in how they need to be spent — and it’s never going to be spent,” Barrasso said.
“We have to repurpose that. There’s a lot of money in the more recent Joe Biden coronavirus bill that is either unneeded or unrelated to coronavirus that is meant to basically pay off and bail out big cities. The money isn’t even going to go out for another couple of years,” he added.
Sylvan Lane contributed to this report.