Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is slamming President Joe Biden for saying he would not sign a bipartisan infrastructure package unless the Senate also passes a separate bill containing more of his priorities.
During a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, McConnell 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.
Watch the video below:
.@LeaderMcConnell: "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." pic.twitter.com/0dShM0eScL
— The Hill (@thehill) June 24, 2021
McConnell’s comments come after Biden announced that he had reached a deal with a bipartisan group of senators on a $953 billion infrastructure plan, as IJR reported.
“This deal means millions of good jobs and fewer burdens felt at the kitchen table and across the country,” he said at the White House. “But it also signals to ourselves and to the world that American democracy can deliver, and because of that it represents an important step forward for our country.”
The deal is half of Biden’s original $2 trillion proposed package and focuses on physical infrastructure.
It would spend billions to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, expand access to high-speed internet, replace lead water pipes, install electric car chargers along highways, overhaul the nation’s electric grid, and electrify school and transit buses.
Biden also appeared to say he would not sign the bipartisan bill unless Democrats pass another bill with more of their priorities in.
He said, “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.”
Democrats are eyeing using a process known as budget reconciliation in the Senate that would let them pass a bill with just 51 votes. That would, in theory, let them pass a bill that includes more of their priorities without negotiating with Republicans.
However, all 50 Democratic senators would have to vote for a reconciliation bill with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie breaking vote.
“The bipartisan bill from the very beginning was understood, there’s going to have to be the second part of it. I’m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest that I proposed. I proposed a significant piece of legislation in three parts, and all three parts are equally important,” Biden said.
White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Biden “wants to do both at the same time.”
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