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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Thursday blasted President Joe Biden’s day one executive actions, accusing the president of “putting American workers last.”
Appearing on Fox News with host Harris Faulkner, Cotton took aim at Biden’s executive actions on immigration, climate change, and other reversals of President Donald Trump’s policies he said were detrimental to the United States.
“I think the scale of Joe Biden’s executive orders and the impact they have on Americans is pretty stark,” Cotton said. “The president preached unity from the inaugural stand and then in the Oval Office he signed executive orders on immigration that would stop construction of the border wall and give work permits to millions of illegal immigrants in our country, putting American workers last, putting foreigners first.”
Cotton also criticized Biden for revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, preventing an estimated 60,000 jobs from being created “simply because the Democratic Party disfavors those kinds of jobs.”
“He ended the travel ban on countries like Syria not because we can all of a sudden vet Syrians coming into this country, make sure they’re not a threat or make sure that they don’t carry the coronavirus, but because again the Democrats wanted to signal their virtue that they’re going to reverse everything Donald Trump did regardless of its impact on the American people,” he continued.
“This is a bad way to start the administration.”
After assuming office on Wednesday, President Biden took no fewer than 17 executive actions fulfilling campaign promises to stop construction of a border wall, end President Trump’s travel bans to countries known for Islamic extremism, rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and stop plans to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline, among other progressive priorities like reinstating federal diversity training based on critical race theory and protecting transgender Americans with anti-discrimination laws.
With Democrats in full control of Congress, holding a majority in the House and a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris in the 50-50 Senate, many progressives are calling on Biden to enact a bold progressive agenda anathema to Republicans. But according to Politico, President Biden wants his first major legislative initiative, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, to pass with Republican support.
Asked about whether Republicans would support additional COVID-19 relief, Cotton agreed with the need for bipartisanship, but made statements that suggest Democrats will have difficulty getting Republicans to sign on to any package that goes beyond providing additional aid for vaccine distribution.
“We should try to have bipartisan cooperation,” Cotton said, mentioning bipartisan relief packages that Congress passed last year. He stopped short of endorsing Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan, which includes provisions for a $15 minimum-wage and other policies opposed by Republicans.
“I don’t think we should move forward with a huge budget that would really just fulfill a lot of longstanding Democratic wishes, not specifically address the needs the American people have because of this once in a century pandemic,” he added.