On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden is due to meet House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for the first time since taking office on 20 January, which may turn into an opportunity for easing the two’s “frosty relationship”, The Hill reports.
The news outlet cited unnamed officials on both sides of the aisle as saying that the Wednesday sit-down may become an important step and reflect both men’s drive “to move forward”.
Current and former Biden advisers, for their part, insisted that the ball is in McCarthy’s court to signal his readiness to cooperate with the White House.
The remarks were preceded by the House minority leader hinting last month at his willingness to sit down with the US president.
“Just as I’ve sat down with President Trump, I’d like to sit down with President Biden. I’ve actually requested meetings on the border crisis. Never had a meeting, never spoken to President Biden since he’s been elected. I’ve spoken to him many times when he was vice president”, McCarthy told reporters in mid-April.
He bemoaned the fact that while he had requested meetings with Biden “a number of times”, the POTUS had “never even acknowledged them”.
McCarthy first requested such a meeting on 5 March, when he underscored the necessity of discussing a spate of pressing migration-related issues with the US president, including the ever-increasing surge of refugees near the country’s southern border. However, the House GOP leader had not received a response from the White House since then.
At the time, five people were killed after Trump supporters breached the Capitol building in Washington, DC to protest the Electoral College certification of Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.