Congress

That Didn’t Take Long

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Just yesterday, the White House and a group of 20 senators including Republicans announced they had reached an agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure spending bill, but the fate of that deal is already in doubt.

Republicans who agreed to the deal are already signaling that they may back out of it because Democrats insist on passing a larger reconciliation bill in tandem with the compromise bill.

The five GOP senators who cut a deal with moderate Democrats and the president are frustrated that Biden explicitly tied his signature on a bipartisan infrastructure bill to a separate Democrats-only measure, according to three Republican aides familiar with the dynamics. Biden has long said he wants to push forward both measures together, but Republicans viewed his Thursday comment as openness to vetoing the very same bill he'd just endorsed.

Biden said of the bipartisan deal yesterday that if this "is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it." The president added that his support for the nearly $1 trillion infrastructure deal is contingent upon it passing "in tandem" with a bigger bill that's shaped without GOP input.

What this is really about is Republican suddenly realizing they delivered a significant political victory to the Biden White House and they don't want to do that under any circumstances even if it involves something the country badly needs.

If Republicans withdraw their support, Democrats including their centrist members will have all the political capital they need to move forward with a larger reconciliation bill. And the GOP will protest, of course, but even Joe Manchin can say they made their best effort to do it another way.

Yesterday's announcement of a deal was a victory for the White House even if the deal is never voted on.