Politics Mitch McConnell gives 'maybe 50-50' odds of bipartisan infrastructure deal as Democrats say they won't drop climate initiatives
Progressive groups are “fed up” with Biden’s infrastructure playbook
Progressives want Biden to stop negotiating with Republicans and embrace budget reconciliation.Progressive groups, who cheered Biden passing his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus bill through Congress with only Democratic support early on, are growing increasingly frustrated over Biden’s prolonged infrastructure negotiations with Senate Republicans.
- McConnell took a dour view on the likelihood of a bipartisan Senate group succeeding with an infrastructure bill.
- He told a conservative radio host that its odds were "maybe 50-50."
- Pelosi signaled she's unwilling to strike a deal with Republicans if it meant substantially cutting the package.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell provided a downbeat view on the latest roughly $1 trillion infrastructure framework negotiated by a faction of centrist senators from both parties.
Where do infrastructure talks go from here now that Biden's negotiations with Republicans collapsed?
As new infrastructure talks begin, old differences with Republicans have already emerged.Weeks of negotiations resulted in little headway, with major differences on costs and taxes going unreconciled. Republicans accused the president of changing his demands and being unwilling to compromise on his insistence on "social infrastructure" while the White House said the Republicans' offers didn't meet America's needs.
The plan would provide justfocused on roads, bridges, ports, and highways.
"Maybe 50-50," the Kentucky Republican said in a Monday interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. "Look, both sides would like to get an infrastructure bill."
McConnell reiterated the by now familiar "red lines" for Senate Republicans: no modifications to the 2017 Republican tax law that would, and that any package should be paid for.
He suggested repurposing stimulus aid to states provided under President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law to cover the cost. That's already been shot down by the White House in previous negotiations with Senate Republicans.
Bipartisan talks sow division among Democrats
Democratic lawmakers are splitting apart over whether it makes sense to continue negotiating with Republicans on a scaled-down infrastructure package after President Biden ended talks with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the lead Republican negotiator on infrastructure. A new group of Senate negotiators is looking to pick up where Biden and Capito left off, but that's not welcome news to progressive Democrats, who think too much time has already been spent trying to reach an elusive bipartisan infrastructure deal.
"States and localities are literally awash in extra money. A lot of that is still in the pipeline," McConnell said. "Why don't we repurpose that, earmark it for infrastructure, which both localities would prefer to spend it on anyway?"
The bipartisan group encompasses 10 lawmakers from both parties and includes Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine.
On the Democratic side, it includes Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Jon Tester of Montana.
The framework is unlikely to contain the aggressive climate measures that many Democrats favor, which isamong a growing group of Democratic senators. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also appears to be against dropping climate initiatives if it means passing a watered-down bill with the GOP.
"I have no intention of abandoning the rest of my vision," Pelosi told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, adding the proposed measures "could have been talked about 50 years ago."
Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: Yes, the bipartisan infrastructure framework includes climate provisions .
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 CLIMATE IN BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK: Liberal senators and activists are encouraging the Biden administration and Democrats to abandon bipartisan infrastructure talks picking up steam because they argue the framework in question does next to nothing to address climate change.