Even so, Coons spends much of his day supporting the agenda of the Biden administration on the hill as best he can. He speaks to Republicans constantly, gathers their concerns and feedback, and reports to his contacts in the White House. He often ends conversations with the White House by saying, “Is there anything else I can do to be helpful?”
He is also active in foreign policy on behalf of the Biden government, including to Ethiopia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.
In your article, you quote Coons as saying that the window for this Congress to pass bipartisan bills is fast closing. What are the great laws that he believes are possible and how does he feel about their chances?
Coons says he focused on helping Democrats reach agreements with Republicans on four key laws: China’s competitiveness, infrastructure, immigration reform, and police reform.
As far as I can tell, he is not necessarily the main negotiator on these bills, but does act as an advisor and sounding board, especially for Republicans. He told me he doesn’t think Congress will close all four deals, but is confident that at least one will bear fruit. “The question is, are we going to get one, two, three, or four?” he said.
To me, the Endless Frontier Act, led by Senator Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader, and Senator Todd Young, Republican of Indiana, seems the most likely to pass.
Coons has also spoken to you about having to reinvent the wheel when it comes to bipartisan deals, as Mitch McConnell’s practice basically died out during his time as majority leader. How did Coons manage to bring the Republicans to their knees and restore the practice of reaching across the aisle?