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Barrasso Says GOP Needs 'More Assurances' From Biden on Infrastructure Plan

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Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) says Republicans are not convinced that President Joe Biden will not try to tie a bipartisan infrastructure to the passage of a separate spending bill.

During an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Barrasso said, “There are a lot of Republicans, probably every Republican, who say, ‘There’s no way we’re going to support this first bipartisan bill if it is anyway linked and connected to this much bigger basically freight train heading towards socialism.”

“I talked to a number of members of the bipartisan group. They are all reluctant now to move forward. They’re gonna need more assurances from the president that there is no link between this bipartisan bill and the bill that the Democrats want to do,” he continued.

Finally, he said, “Really, they may end up trying to use — and I believe they will try to use — reconciliation on this $6 trillion bill. But that’s going to be a high wire act for them with no safety net. There’s not going to be a single Republican in the House or Senate who’s going to vote for it.”

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Barrasso’s comments come after Biden announced he had reached an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on the framework for an infrastructure package, as IJR reported.

However, hopes of its passage were quickly clouded after Biden appeared to say he would not sign the bipartisan bill unless Democrats used budget reconciliation to pass a separate spending bill — which would let them pass legislation with just 51 votes.

During an event at the White House on Thursday, Biden appeared to signal that he would not sign the bipartisan bill without the extra spending package, “I expect that in the coming months this summer, before the fiscal year is over, that we will have voted on this bill, the infrastructure bill, as well as voted on the budget resolution. But if only one comes to me, this is the only one that comes to me. I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Biden as he said, “Less than two hours after publicly commending our colleagues and actually endorsing the bipartisan agreement, the president took the extraordinary step of threatening to veto it. It was a tale of two press conferences. Endorse the agreement in one breath and threaten to veto it in the next.”

“It almost makes your head spin…an expression of bipartisanship and then an ultimatum on behalf of your left-wing base,” he added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was one of the Republicans who helped craft the bipartisan framework, accused Biden of “extortion” during an interview with Politico.

“If he’s gonna tie them together, he can forget it!” he said. “That’s extortion! I’m not going to do that. The Dems are being told you can’t get your bipartisan work product passed unless you sign on to what the left wants, and I’m not playing that game.”

He continued, “Most Republicans could not have known that. There’s no way. You look like a f***ing idiot now.”

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Biden later sought to clarify his comments saying in a statement on Saturday, “That statement understandably upset some Republicans, who do not see the two plans as linked; they are hoping to defeat my Families Plan—and do not want their support for the infrastructure plan to be seen as aiding passage of the Families Plan.

“My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent,” he added.

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