Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made his position on the two infrastructure packages clear over the weekend, potentially complicating a bipartisan agreement.
The senator from Vermont tweeted, “Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change. No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.”
Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change. No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 27, 2021
Lawmakers now await Democrats’ strategy on how they plan to pass the first piece of legislation that Republicans will support.
As The Daily Wire reported, “The ‘anti-poverty plan’ is the second, more expansive ‘infrastructure bill’ that includes trillions of dollars in spending for ‘childcare, education, and other Democratic priorities paid for with tax increases on corporations and high-income Americans’ — the bill that Democrats had promoted with an extensive campaign widening the definition of ‘infrastructure.’”
Last week, Biden indicated that he would only pass the first bill if the second, broader bill was included, potentially causing Republicans to pull their support. He later walked back those previous statements, clarifying his position on the two bills in a statement released by The White House over the weekend.
As The Daily Wire reported on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement urging President Joe Biden not to allow Democratic leadership to create a bill that would go against the bipartisan agreements that had been previously made between members of both parties.
“The President has appropriately delinked a potential bipartisan infrastructure bill from the massive, unrelated tax-and-spend plans that Democrats want to pursue on a partisan basis. Now I am calling on President Biden to engage Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi and make sure they follow his lead,” McConnell said.
“Unless Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi walk back their threats that they will refuse to send the president a bipartisan infrastructure bill unless they also separately pass trillions of dollars for unrelated tax hikes, wasteful spending, and Green New Deal socialism, then President Biden’s walk-back of his veto threat would be a hollow gesture,” he added.
“Republicans have been negotiating in bipartisan good faith to meet the real infrastructure needs of our nation,” he concluded. “The President cannot let congressional Democrats hold a bipartisan bill hostage over a separate and partisan process.”
According to The Hill, Republican Senators have also been pushing back against the possibility of a deal going through that includes the second, bigger infrastructure package.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) discussed as much on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying, “I do trust the president and, he made very clear in the much larger statement that came out over the weekend, the carefully crafted and thought through piece by piece, as that if the infrastructure bill reaches his desk, and it comes alone, he will sign it.”
Romney added, “I recognize that he and his Democratic colleagues want more than that, they want other legislation as well. And we Republicans are saying absolutely no, we will not support a bill which is to be passed with a massive tax increase, and at the same time trillions of dollars in new spending. That is not something we will support.”