Biden says he can reach deals with McConnell

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Dole in final column: 'Too many of us have sacrificed too much' Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 MORE says he thinks he can work with Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDole in final column: 'Too many of us have sacrificed too much' Schumer steps on the gas to move Biden agenda Hoyer says Dec. 15 is drop-dead deadline to hike debt ceiling MORE (R-Ky.), despite strong skepticism among other Democrats about getting bills passed in a Republican-controlled Senate next year.

“There are a number of things that when McConnell controlled the Senate that people said couldn’t get done, and I was able to get them done with [him.] I was able to get them to, you know, raise taxes on the wealth`y,” Biden told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, apparently referring to deals at the end of 2010 and 2012 to extend many of the Bush-era tax cuts.

At the end of 2012, Biden struck a deal with McConnell to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The agreement made the income tax bracket established under former President George W. Bush permanent, but phased out personal exemptions for individuals earning more than $250,000 and raised the real estate and gift tax to 40 percent.

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The deal Biden helped negotiate in December 2010 extended all of the Bush tax cuts for income, capital gains and dividend earnings for two years while setting a 35 percent tax rate on estates worth more than $5 million.

McConnell was the minority leader in 2010 and 2012 when he worked with Biden.

Biden told Friedman in the hourlong phone interview Tuesday evening that he thinks trade-offs can be made with McConnell.

“I think there are trade-offs, that not all compromise is walking away from principle,” he said. “He knows me. I know him. I don’t ask him to embarrass himself to make a deal.”

Friedman wrote that Biden “was careful about how he talked about McConnell” and “obviously wants to keep the prospects of cooperation open.”

McConnell has not yet recognized Biden as the president-elect while President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE continues to challenge the election results.

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At the same time, Biden warned Tuesday that McConnell and Senate Republicans would face political consequences if they simply obstruct his entire agenda.

At least 20 Senate Republicans are up for reelection in 2022 while Democrats will have to defend at least 13 seats.

McConnell famously declared in 2010 “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Several Senate Democrats predicted before the Nov. 3 election that McConnell would block most of Biden’s agenda if they failed to win back the Senate majority.

Senate Republicans will control at least 50 seats next year and are favored to keep the majority, which will depend on them winning at least one of two runoff Senate races in Georgia scheduled for Jan. 5

If Democrats sweep both Georgia Senate races, then Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBuild Back Better Is bad for the states  Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Biden points to drug prices in call for Senate social spending vote MORE (D-N.Y.) would be majority leader.

Senate Republicans have highlighted infrastructure investment and trade as two areas of possible common ground with the incoming Biden administration.