Story at a glance

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday there is a “great chance” Democrats and Republicans will agree to terms on infrastructure legislation, saying he believes “both sides would like to get an outcome.”
  • “I think they want a deal this time and I think they want a deal with us, because I don’t think they think they can pass this second effort through a reconciliation package,” McConnell said.
  • “In other words, I don’t think they can get their own ducks in a row, and so they are coming to us, and that’s generally how you reach bipartisan agreements.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday there is a “great chance” Democrats and Republicans will agree to terms on infrastructure legislation, saying he believes “both sides would like to get an outcome.” 

McConnell told Fox News host Bret Baier he thinks the two sides are ready to make a deal, following a meeting at the White House with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and other congressional leaders, The New York Post reported

“I think they want a deal this time and I think they want a deal with us, because I don’t think they think they can pass this second effort through a reconciliation package,” McConnell said. “In other words, I don’t think they can get their own ducks in a row, and so they are coming to us, and that’s generally how you reach bipartisan agreements. Plus, the subject matter is pretty popular on both sides of the aisle.”

President Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion package under the American Jobs Plan, which McConnell previously called a grab bag, “[that] has infrastructure in it, but a whole lot of other stuff.” The Republican leader did not set an acceptable dollar amount Wednesday, but Senate Republicans countered Biden’s proposal last week with a plan worth up to $800 billion, according to The Post. 

“I mean, we think traditional infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports, water lines, broadband, are things we can agree on,” McConnell. “To the extent that they start getting off in rather exotic definitions of what amounts to infrastructure, we could have a problem.”


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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said last week that a bill with such a high price tag should be weighed by whether it actually covers American infrastructure. 

“I don’t think that we should have a $2.3 trillion bill with all different subject matters in it,” Manchin said May 4.

“Whether it’s $500 billion or $600 billion … or $1 trillion, we have to pay for it, and we have to make sure that we don’t continue to add on to this crippling debt and pass it on to future generations,” he said. 

Biden indicated in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday he favors a bipartisan agreement, but he is willing to move forward without Republican support should legislation stall. 

"I want to get a bipartisan deal on as much as we can get a bipartisan deal on," he told O'Donnell. "And that means roads, bridges, broadband, all infrastructure. But I'm not giving up on the fact that we have, you know, 2 million women who are not able to go back to work because all the daycare centers are closed. They're out of business. And so, they can't go back to work."

"Let's see if we can get an agreement to kickstart this — and then fight over what's left and see if I can get it done without Republicans, if need be,” Biden added. 

Senate Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan earlier this year without Republican support via budget reconciliation. 


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Published on May 13, 2021