Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said Wednesday that if the bipartisan infrastructure bill fails, then Democrats could look to pass an even larger, $4.1 trillion bill.
Senate Republicans blocked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) motion to advance the legislative framework for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bipartisan proposal does not yet have legislative text.
However, Senate Democrats said Wednesday that they could increase their $3.5 trillion spending bill to include more than physical infrastructure.
Kaine, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said that “if for some reason the bipartisan version doesn’t work out, then we ought to be looking at a reconciliation bill that’s at $4.1 trillion.”
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), a former chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said, “Right now we’re trying to [see a] silver lining — moving towards how we can get this done and not assume that we have members that are also going to be problems.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the chair of the Budget Committee, said Democrats could easily include the bipartisan infrastructure framework in the Democrats’ mammoth reconciliation bill. He explained, “I can’t give you an exact timeline, but I think that we are going to have every Democratic senator on board.”
He continued, “At the end of the day … the $600 billion in physical infrastructure, you can do it in the bipartisan bill, or you can combine it with one bill. One way or another, it’s going to happen.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the Congressional Progressive Caucus chair, reiterated Sanders’ proposal.
Jayapal said if the bipartisan bill fails, it “has to be incorporated” into the reconciliation bill.
“I don’t know why they’d change their mind on infrastructure spending depending on the vehicle through which it’s accomplished,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), suggesting moderates should not be worried about including it in the reconciliation bill. “That wouldn’t be a very logical position in my view.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.