First lady Jill Biden implores an 'often mired in gridlock' Congress to follow governors' lead

First lady Jill Biden speaks to the National Governors Association during an event in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci, Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – First lady Jill Biden lamented the partisanship that permeates Capitol Hill and politics writ large, telling governors at the White House that she wished more lawmakers would follow their lead.

She spoke on Friday in the White House's East Room to state chief executives who were in Washington for the winter gathering of the National Governors Association. During her brief remarks, Biden recalled something that Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, had told her when she visited his state last year.

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“What you said really stayed with me,” Biden said. “You said pure partisan politics has never contributed to real solutions, and that we can and should prioritize progress over politics, especially on issues where the majority of Americans agree.”

That majority, Biden said, is “an exhausted one.”

“As Gov. Cox often points out, they’re frustrated by a Congress that is often mired in gridlock, and those who too often treat government like a sport with an us-versus-them mindset and a knee-jerk reaction to oppose anything you know the other team supports,” Biden said, referring to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, also a Republican who is the current chairman of the governors' association.

But the group of governors at the White House demonstrates that bipartisanship is possible, Biden said.

“I wish that the lawmakers on the Hill would follow your lead," she added.

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