President Joe Biden has backed down somewhat on his initial proposal for an infrastructure bill. Press secretary Jen Psaki announced Friday the White House would drop the price tag from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion, Fox Business reported.
Biden backing down is a sign that Republicans are learning to mount an effective resistance despite their lack of power in both the House and the Senate. While the fight is far from over, forcing the Biden administration to drop nearly half a trillion dollars from the infrastructure bill is a positive start.
Senate Republicans met with the White House to continue negotiations, but the news isn’t good on that front as Biden is reportedly not negotiating in person, and negotiations with Biden’s team have done more harm than good.
Biden’s refusal to negotiate directly with Republicans is his loss as it has become clear that Democrats cannot move forward without Republican votes.
While Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) insist that bipartisanship is a political mistake and Democrats don’t need Republicans, it’s become clear that Democrats are not negotiating from a position of strength.
Both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have made it clear that if Biden wants to pass an infrastructure bill, it will have to come with no tax increases.
Without a steep tax increase, Biden’s team will be forced to slash much of the fat from the infrastructure bill, which is something they may not be able to do.
Democrats have engaged in an extensive campaign to redefine the word “infrastructure” to generate support for the extraneous wish list items included in the bill. Luxury items like paid leave and child care have been included in the bill and will likely be the first to go when Biden is forced to cut back even more.
“This plan is not about rebuilding America’s backbone,” McConnell said in a statement back in March. “Less than 6% of this massive proposal goes to roads and bridges.”
Template for success
This small victory could have far-reaching impacts as Republicans learn that just because they are out of power doesn’t mean they have to lie down and comply with every Democrat demand.
Both Senate and House Republicans need to apply this same united front when it comes to resisting the Biden administration’s wasteful and dangerous legislative agenda.
Time is on the Republicans’ side as the 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching. Republicans need to hold out until election season when they have a golden opportunity to retake both the House and the Senate.