ICYMI: Washington Post: One Year as Chairman of EPW, Carper’s Record Shows That Bipartisanship Can Pay Off

‘To some critics, [Carper and] Biden’s enduring belief in bipartisanship seems naïve,’ writes Joselow. ‘But Carper’s record . . . suggests that approach can pay off.’ 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the one-year anniversary of his time as Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) sat down with the Washington Post’s Maxine Joselow to discuss his bipartisan approach to progress, and the legislative accomplishments his committee has enacted under a razor-thin, 50-50 margin Senate.

“To some, [Carper and] Biden’s enduring belief in bipartisanship seems naïve and divorced from political realities,” writes Joselow. “But Carper’s record atop the powerful environmental panel, which has unanimously passed a major bipartisan highway bill and water bill, suggests that the approach can pay off.”

On Long Overdue Infrastructure Investments:

Led by Carper and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), “The highway bill ended up forming the centerpiece of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure that Biden signed into law in November, delivering the president a crucial bipartisan win on an issue that had eluded Trump. (Remember all of those ‘Infrastructure Weeks’?)

“Carper credited the achievement in part to the personal outreach: ‘Joe Biden likes to say all politics is personal. I agree.’”

On a Bipartisan Approach to Progress:

“Carper said he has long admired the alliance that endured for more than a decade between former Democratic senator Max Baucus (Mont.) and Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) on the Senate Finance Committee. They reportedly met once a week to hash out disagreements.

“‘I always thought that if I got to be chairman of a committee, I would steal that idea,’ Carper said. ‘So when Shelley and I became co-leads of the EPW Committee a year ago, I told her I wanted to take the Baucus-Grassley model.’”

On Overcoming Hurdles to Build Back Better and Tackling Climate Change:

“Even though Build Back Better is now stalled in the Senate, Carper said that forging a compromise on the methane fee with [Senator Joe] Manchin was ‘a really positive, productive process.’

“‘As somebody who spent a lot of formative early years in West Virginia, I have great affection for the place,’ he said. ‘And I think Joe and his staff understand that at the end of the day, we want to do the right thing for West Virginia. We also want to do the right thing for Delaware, which is the lowest-lying state in America.’”

View the full story here.