GOP senators praise Biden’s inauguration speech
Several Republicans on Wednesday praised President Biden’s inauguration speech, where he stressed the need for unity two weeks after rioters stormed the Capitol.
Biden “struck the right themes of unity, a call for us to come together to stop viewing one another as adversaries but rather as fellow Americans,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who previously served with Biden when he was a senator from Delaware.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said the inauguration ceremony was “very well done.”
“I thought it was what we needed,” she added.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called Biden’s remarks “very strong.”
Biden used his inauguration speech to urge unity after a tumultuous four years capped off by the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol when a mob of Trump supporters breached security as now-former Vice President Pence and members of Congress were ratifying Biden’s electoral victory.
“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity,” Biden said.
Biden is taking over a government that is deeply divided, with tensions in Washington running high amid an unprecedented level of security around the Capitol complex following the riot Jan. 6 that left five people dead.
In order to get his legislative agenda through Congress, Biden will need some Republican support. While Democrats are poised to take back the Senate majority later Wednesday, the chamber’s 50-50 split will require the support of at least 10 GOP senators for most legislation to clear procedural hurdles.
GOP Rep. Tom Reed (N.Y.) said he appreciated Biden’s inauguration message, adding that he was “proud” to be at the ceremony.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is retiring after 2022, also threw his support behind Biden’s unity message.
“I commend President Biden for his call for national unity, and his assurance to those who did not support him that he will nevertheless be president for all Americans. I urge the president to follow through on this commitment by working with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to pursue policies that will lead to peace and prosperity for all Americans,” Toomey said.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of Senate GOP leadership, said Biden gave a “good speech,” but indicated he was waiting to see how Biden governs.
“My concern is, of course, some of the executive orders that are coming, specifically in regard to the Keystone XL pipeline – it was a speech of unity and it’s important to govern that way as well,” he told reporters.
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