President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to restore unity and bipartisanship to D.C.
In the four months since his inauguration, however, critics say the Biden administration has proven to be anything but a unifying force — especially Vice President Kamala Harris. According to the Washington Examiner, one recent study found the former U.S. senator to be one of the least bipartisan members of the administration.
A legacy of partisanship
Her rating reportedly came as part of the so-called Bipartisan Index compiled by Georgetown University’s Lugar Center and McCourt School for Public Policy, which scored how often legislators work across the aisle with the other party to accomplish common goals.
According to Senate scores for the most recent congressional term ending last year, then-Sen. Harris (D-CA) ranked near the bottom, meaning she behaved in an exceptionally partisan manner when considered among her colleagues in the upper chamber.
In fact, the study ranked Harris 94th out of 99 senators on the list.
Of course, several other prominent officials have gone on to serve in the White House — and the scores for several former House Democrats also left a lot to be desired for those seeking a bipartisan approach to the nation’s issues.
Former Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), who currently serves as interior secretary, ranked 220 out of 437. Ex-Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) was 30 points behind her, (D-OH), who is now leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Popular on both sides of the aisle”
Worse yet was the score given to Office of Public Engagement Director Cedric Richmond. The former U.S. congressman from Louisiana ranked 326 of 437.
For his part, Biden, a long-serving U.S. senator from Delaware, does appear to have some credibility to claim a bipartisan background.
According to the lifetime scores given to 250 senators between 1993 and 2018, Biden ranked a respectable 47th overall.
By the same token, the lifetime ranking for Harris put her at number 246 out of 250, indicating she is just about the last person anyone should expect to reach across the aisle in good faith to accomplish a bipartisan result.
Nevertheless, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has expressed hope for a bipartisan approach to infrastructure, the New York Post reports, insisting: “I think they want a deal this time and I think they want a deal with us, because I don’t think they think they can pass this second effort through a reconciliation package. In other words, I don’t think they can get their own ducks in a row and so they are coming to us, and that’s generally how you reach bipartisan agreements. Plus, the subject matter is pretty popular on both sides of the aisle.”