GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president'

Republican Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoFormer Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi dies after bicycle accident Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote MORE (Wyo.) last week said he wants to make President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions 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 Barrasso 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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Trump takes two punches from GOP 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 ObamaMillennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Biden's Cuba problem: Obama made a bet and lost Democrats need a coherent response to attacks on critical race theory MORE was a one-term president,” Barrasso said.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates responded to Barrasso’s comment in a statement to The Hill, writing that Biden “looks forward to continuing to deliver for the American people, continuing to make government work for them again, and continuing to bring our country together – after having reduced cases of the worst public health crisis in over a century by more than 90%, signed historic economic legislation that helped fuel unprecedented job growth for any administration’s first 100 days in office, protected Americans’ health care, and restored our leadership and competitiveness in the world.”


Barrasso, who serves as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, also attacked the Senate Democratic Conference 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.

“There’s a lot of money out there that, as [Sen.] Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon passes on Senate campaign The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE [R-Mo.], 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.