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Biden pledges he will work with Republicans

U.S. President Joe Biden answers a question during a news conference held after the 2022 U.S. midterm elections in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, November 9, 2022.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

President Joe Biden said Wednesday he is eager to work with congressional Republicans after the midterm elections, but stressed he would not compromise on issues like abortion rights and Social Security.

“On this election season the American people made it clear: They don’t want every day moving forward to be a constant political battle. There’s too much of that going on, and there’s too much we have to do,” Biden said at the White House. “The future of America is too promising to be trapped in an endless political warfare.”

As Biden spoke at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, it was not clear which party would ultimately hold a majority in either chamber of Congress. Republicans are expected to pick up seats in the House, but Biden’s Democratic Party fared better on Election Day than most observers expected, and it could hold the Senate depending on how three unresolved races go.

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What was clear to Biden was the slim margins will necessitate compromise. He said that after he returns from the G-20 summit in Indonesia, he will invite the leaders from both parties to the White House to outline economic and national security priorities for 2023.

“I’m open to any good ideas. I want to be very clear: I’m not going to support any Republican proposal that’s going to make inflation worse,” Biden said, raising the example of removing the prescription drug price cap for Americans on Medicare passed by his party. “And I’m not going to walk away from the historic commitments we just made to take on the climate crisis. They’re not compromise-able issues to me and I won’t let it happen.”

The president added he would keep his campaign promise not to increase federal taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000 a year, and if tax cuts are considered, they should be focused on working- and middle-class Americans.

“Not the very wealthy, they’re fine,” Biden said.

He also said fundamental changes to Social Security and Medicare are off the negotiating table. “I will not do that,” Biden said.

In addition, the president said he will “veto any attempt to pass as national ban on abortion.”

“But I’m ready to compromise with Republicans where it makes sense on many other issues, and I’ll always put the needs of the American people first,” he said.

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