Republicans and Democrats have argued for months on what should and should not be included in President Joe Biden’s push for an infrastructure bill. The negotiations seemingly came to an end last week as a bipartisan group hammered out enough compromises on both sides to strike a deal.
As Breitbart reported, the bipartisan deal, which is roughly half the cost of President Joe Biden’s original infrastructure plan, will likely be fully supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), according to statements made by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) during the latest episode of NBC’s Meet the Press.
“Prosperous for all Americans”
NBC anchor Chuck Todd pressed Cassidy during the interview on where McConnell stands on the compromised package, noting the Kentucky senator’s powerful level of influence among the Senate Republican caucus.
“Senator McConnell, we know if he does not like something, he can convince about 40 Republicans voting no. Is he still comfortable of where this deal is going even though he does not personally support it?” Todd asked of Cassidy.
“If we can pull this off, I think Mitch will favor it,” Cassidy replied, according to Breitbart.
The Louisiana Republican, who was part of the bipartisan negotiation crew that made it possible for both sides to come to an agreement on the legislation, heaped praise on the potential benefits of passing the much-needed boost to hard, American infrastructure.
“It is going to provide the infrastructure that the American people want that they need. That’ll make our country prosperous for all Americans,” Cassidy said.
Biden backtracks, big time
Cassidy also brought up the initial backlash from a number of Republicans after Biden first claimed that he wouldn’t sign the bipartisan deal unless a reconciliation bill — packed with billions in wish-list items from Democrats — was also passed in “tandem.”
In a rare move to clarify Biden’s position, the White House issued a statement over the weekend making clear that Biden does, in fact, support signing the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, even if it means Republicans attempt to kill the reconciliation bill that will likely follow soon after.
“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,” Biden said, according to Yahoo News.
Cassidy said McConnell’s reaction trended toward not supporting the bill after Biden’s apparent misstatement but indicated that McConnell is back on board as long as Democrats hold up their end of the bargain.
Only time will tell if the bipartisan version of the infrastructure bill will make it to Biden’s desk, as any misstep by Democrats — at this point — will undoubtedly trigger the Republicans’ willingness to torpedo it.