Senate Republicans reportedly want to ax much of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda by supporting a more moderate infrastructure bill that might stifle Democrat support for a more partisan infrastructure bill.
Politico reported that Republicans want to support a bipartisan proposal led by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (D-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA). The legislation would serve as a more “realistic” proposal that focuses more on physical infrastructure than Biden’s proposal, which also contains many provisions to combat climate change and offer child care.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said Monday that if Republicans and Democrats strike a deal on legislation that focuses more on physical infrastructure, a second bill passed by reconciliation would become more nakedly partisan and stuffed with leftist carveouts, which would be too hard to vote for despite only needing 50 votes to pass the Senate.
“It’ll be awful hard to get those moderate Democrats to be for that,” Thune said.
He added, “The stars are kind of lining up for an infrastructure bill. And if you do something bipartisan on that, then I think doing something partisan on reconciliation — in some ways, with certain Democrats — it gets a lot harder.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a swing vote for Democrats, declined to say Monday if he would support a second, partisan infrastructure bill.
He said, “there’s a lot more that needs to be done, so we need to work it the same way we’re working this one.”
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), another moderate-leaning Democrat, said he’s “not sure everyone in the caucus” has decided to back efforts to pass infrastructure through reconciliation
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.