Apr 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Hickenlooper: I'm "optimistic" we can reach bipartisan solution on infrastructure

Screenshot of an Axios event with Hans Nichol and John Hickenlooper in the same frame

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Col.) said at a virtual Axios event Friday he is "optimistic" lawmakers will reach a bipartisan solution on infrastructure that "many Republicans will be able to embrace."

Why it matters: President Biden's multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package has met swift backlash from Republicans, though some have signaled willingness to reach a compromise.

  • GOP senators have met with the Biden administration to discuss an alternative proposal.
  • In his rebuttal to the president's address to Congress Wednesday night, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) called Biden's package a "big government waste, plus the biggest jobs-killing tax hikes in a generation."

What he's saying: It's the job of "both parties to reach out and to try and create opportunities on specific issues where we can find agreement," Hickenlooper said.

  • "Every 40 or 50 years, we roll up our sleeves and say it's time ... We're going to make these investments that are going to help our country for the next 50 or 75 years. And this feels like that kind of a time," he added.
  • "Bipartisan band-aids" aren't going to cut it.

Hickenlooper also reflected on the Jan. 6 insurrection.

  • "It was my first full day of work so it was a pretty strenuous orientation," he said.
  • While the incident was difficult and frightening to live through, he said that being forced into close quarters gave him the chance to get to know several senators on both sides of the aisle.
  • "People sharing that experience in one room is going to make it possible to be more bipartisan, to find more common ground on things like infrastructure," he noted.

Watch the event.

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