PIERRE, S.D. — While President Joe Biden pledged bipartisanship in his first address to Congress on Wednesday, April 28, South Dakota's Republican delegates in Washington, D.C., remain skeptical that the president means what he says.
In a video released following Biden's speech, Sen. John Thune opined that Biden is "quick to talk about bipartisanship" but faulted him for giving "cover to the far-left-wing of his party as it works to undermine the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment and even the very nature of the Senate designed by our founding fathers."
The state's senior senator also lamented the "killing of thousands of good-paying jobs" by Biden's decision to rescind an international permit to expand the Keystone XL pipeline.
Biden's pulling of the pipeline on his first day in office has been repeatedly criticized by the federal delegation, though the executive action was supported by leadership within some tribal nations in South Dakota. In January, Canadian-based TC Energy released a statement saying more than 1,000 persons were out of work due to the cancellation of the pipeline. A separate analysis found most of those job losses would be temporary.
During Biden's speech, the president called for a range of actions under his American Family Plan, and he also doubled down on a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that would encompass roads and bridges, but also, the president says, bring improvements to telecommunications, the electrical grid, and drinking water.
Biden says the bill also addresses climate change and job creation.
"There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can't be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing," Biden said.
Last week, Senate Republicans put forth a smaller, narrower infrastructure bill, totaling $568 billion in upgrades.
"President Biden, if you're serious about working together, if you're serious about passing bipartisan legislation, your proposals can't all start with a 'T,'" said Johnson, in a statement.
Johnson asked Biden to "get serious" on prescription drug pricing, infrastructure and job creation.
Biden marks his first 100 days in office on Thursday and will visit former president Jimmy Carter in Georgia.