President Joe Biden has put forward two massive “infrastructure” spending proposals that would cost more than $4 trillion combined, most of which would fund items not typically defined as “infrastructure,” and which would be paid for in part by massive tax increases.
According to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, there will be “none, zero” GOP support for those proposals as-is, forcing Democrats to try and force the measures through on their own if they chose not to negotiate, The Daily Wire reported.
That means that congressional Democrats could, once again, utilize the previously limited and obscure budget reconciliation process to pass the measures with simple majority votes along partisan lines.
That also means there will be little or no Republican input for Biden’s $2 trillion-plus American Jobs Plan or $1.8 trillion American Families Plan — which the president previously insisted should be open to negotiations and passed in a bipartisan fashion.
“Zero” GOP support
“If they can’t get all their ducks in a row, to use reconciliation again they’ll have to have every single Democrat in the Senate, all of them, in line, in lockstep, in order to do that. A number of them are saying they agree with us,” McConnell said during a press conference Monday, according to Fox News.
“I think it’s worth talking about, but I don’t think there’ll be any Republican senators, none, zero, for the $4.1 trillion grab bag, which has infrastructure in it, but a whole lot of other stuff,” he continued.
McConnell and other Republicans have balked at the extraordinarily expensive price tag for the proposals, as well as the fact that a majority of what is included in the proposal has little or nothing to do with traditional infrastructure.
“Let’s make it about infrastructure”
The Hill reported that a group of moderate Republican senators led by Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) have countered Biden’s proposal with one of their own that focuses far more narrowly on traditional infrastructure projects and would cost around $568 billion.
Capito and Biden reportedly spoke directly about the issue last week and negotiations are said to be ongoing. McConnell signaled that his fellow Republicans would likely be open to spending a bit more, albeit nowhere near the exorbitant amount embraced by Democrats.
“We’re open to doing a roughly $600 billion package which deals with what all of us agree is infrastructure,” the Senate GOP leader said. “If it’s going to be about infrastructure, let’s make it about infrastructure.”
As for Biden’s proposed tax hikes to pay for the spending bills, The Hill noted that McConnell stated emphatically, “We’re not willing to pay for it by undoing the 2017 bill,” a reference to the tax cuts under the GOP-controlled Congress and then-President Donald Trump.
“We’re open to doing a roughly $600 billion package which deals with what all of us would agree is infrastructure and to talk about how to pay for that in any way other than reopening the 2017 tax reform bill, which I believe — and all of my members believe — is what created, as of February 2020, the best economy in 50 years,” McConnell reiterated, according to Fox.