President Joe Biden's inauguration speech received high marks from a slew of Republican senators, who argued Wednesday that the Democrat hit the right notes by stressing the need to unite the country amid uncertainty and turmoil.
As The Hill reported, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said that he hopes Biden's speech signals a willingness to work with members of both parties to enact bipartisan legislation.
"I commend [Biden] for his call for national unity, and his assurance to those who did not support him that he will nevertheless be president for all Americans. I urge the president to follow through on this commitment by working with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to pursue policies that will lead to peace and prosperity for all Americans."Sen. Susan Collins of Maine commended Biden for issuing "a call for us to come together to stop viewing one another as adversaries but rather as fellow Americans," while her colleague Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said that the Democrat's address was "what we needed" in this moment.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah -- who was the only Republican in the Senate to vote to convict Donald Trump in his impeachment trial -- described Biden's remarks as "very strong."
Member of Senate Republican Party leadership John Barrasso said that Biden's was "a speech of unity and it's important to govern that way as well," expressing concern over some of the Democrat's executive orders, such as the one revoking a key permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.
As The Hill noted, Biden's calls for unity resonated across the nation after a tumultuous four years under Trump. The divisions culminated on January 6, after a group of Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building in a doomed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.Democrats control both chambers of the U.S. Congress, but they only have a one-vote majority in the Senate, which means Biden will have to compromise with Republicans to pass legislation, unless members of his party decide to do away with procedural limitations such as the filibuster.
As reported by The New York Times, on his first day in the White House, Biden signed 17 executive orders. In a direct rebuke of Trump administration policies, Biden restored protections for immigrants, reinstated ties with the World Health Organization, signed a letter to re-enter the United States in the Paris climate accords and issued a number of directives pertaining to racial and gender equality.