Realizing that their opposition to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package could be a PR disaster in the 2022 midterm election, Senate Republicans are blaming White House staff for their lack of support for the bill, singling out White House chief of staff Ron Klain.
GOP senators who met with Biden at the White House on Monday told colleagues after the meeting that Klain was standing at the back of the room, shaking his head “no” throughout the meeting.
“There’s certainly a mixed signal from him on the unity message,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who was briefed on the White House meeting by colleagues, according to The Hill.
Cramer said Biden was “very engaged and well-prepared” for the meeting “but I also heard that his chief of staff stood at the back of the room and shook his head ‘no’ for every point.”
“That’s what we were told,” he added.
Administration officials said Republican senators should be more focused on passing relief legislation than pointing the finger at White House advisers for not agreeing to an underfunded proposal.