February 6, 2023

But the recent sniping between the veteran politicians obscures what has been, at times, a more complicated relationship. Mr. McConnell was the only Republican senator to attend the funeral of Mr. Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. The senator later moved to rename a bill to fight cancer in Beau’s honor.

The two men have also hammered out compromises several times over the years, sometimes to the dismay of members of their own parties.

In 2011, when Mr. Biden was vice president, President Barack Obama turned to him to help cut a deal with Republicans on the budget and the debt ceiling to avert an economic catastrophe. It was Mr. McConnell who worked with Mr. Biden to sidestep disaster. They worked on a budget compromise again at the end of 2012.

Even if Mr. Biden and Mr. McConnell can reach a similar deal again, it is unlikely that a Republican-controlled House, under Mr. McCarthy or someone else, will do the same.

But for the moment, White House officials are betting that the bridge event, and other similar trips planned for the coming weeks, will send the message that a Biden White House sees room for compromise. On Wednesday, other administration officials traveled to Chicago; New London, Conn.; and San Francisco to highlight other bridges that will be repaired with money from the bipartisan legislation.

The Brent Spence Bridge, a double-decker built nearly 60 years ago, has been a bottleneck in the region’s economy for years, frustrating commuters, hampering the delivery of goods and services, and threatening to become the site of the latest deadly infrastructure disaster.

The legislation will provide about $1.6 billion to renovate the bridge and construct a second crossing over the Ohio River. Political leaders in the area have tried for years to secure federal funding, to no avail. At a campaign rally in 2020, President Donald J. Trump vowed to get money for the bridge, though his promises for “infrastructure week” in America never materialized.

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