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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in April. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Wednesday he's "100%" focused on "stopping" the Biden administration.

Why it matters: McConnell's comments come as President Biden seeks to push through his administration's nearly $4 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden is due to host his first bipartisan meeting with Republican leaders including McConnell next week.

Driving the news: McConnell made the comments when asked about Republican Party infighting and a campaign from allies of former President Trump to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as House GOP conference chair.

  • "We're confronted with severe challenges from a new administration, and a narrow majority of Democrats in the House and a 50-50 Senate to turn America into a socialist country, and that's 100 percent of my focus," McConnell said.
  • McConnell, who urged fellow Republicans not to contest Biden's election win, was also asked if he's concerned about the substantial number of GOP voters who disbelieve the presidential election results.
  • "100% of my focus is on standing up to this administration," he replied. "What we have in the United States Senate is totally unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country."

The other side: Biden shrugged off McConnell's comments later Wednesday, saying the Republican congressional leader had made similar comments during the Obama administration.

Go deeper

May 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's plan to work with — or bail on — the GOP

President Biden, after remarks on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden plans to test Republicans’ appetite to pay for any part of his proposed $4.1 trillion in infrastructure and social spending before deciding whether to pursue one big tax-and-spend package or two smaller ones, Axios has learned.

Driving the news: Biden is wary of boxing himself in, since it would dictate whether he seeks a bipartisan or all-Democratic approach. He told reporters on Wednesday, "I'm willing to compromise. But I'm not willing to not pay for what we're talking about. I'm not willing to deficit-spend."

GOP Sen. Joni Ernst defends Liz Cheney, calls for GOP unity

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) defended Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) amid a growing effort to oust her as House Republican conference chair, emphasizing the need to "come together as a party," Politico reports.

Why it matters: Ernst is the only other woman in elected GOP leadership, serving as the vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference.

May 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney's long game

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is all but rolling out the red carpet for her own ouster as House GOP conference chair next week and her expected replacement with Trump defender Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

Why it matters: Cheney’s political falling out with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the ultimate proxy war between Republicans who remain beholden to a former president who falsely claims the election was stolen from him, or breaking free from Donald Trump to refocus on traditional conservative values.