White House: 'Absurd' for GOP to take issue with dual-track infrastructure approach

The White House is pushing back on complaints from Republicans over Democrats' plans to simultaneously pursue a bipartisan infrastructure package and one that can pass via reconciliation without GOP support.

“I think the American people are quite focused on how we’re getting work done on their behalf, less focused on the mechanics of the process. Now it is up to Republicans … to decide if they are going to vote against a historic investment in infrastructure that’s going to rebuild roads and railways and bridges in their communities, simply because they don’t like the mechanics of the process,” press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Altria — FDA advisers endorse Pfizer vaccine for kids The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - White House to host lawmakers as negotiations over agenda hit critical stage MORE told reporters on Friday.

“That’s a pretty absurd argument for them to make. Good luck on the political front on that argument,” she added. 

ADVERTISEMENT

President BidenJoe BidenBiden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day Business lobby calls for administration to 'pump the brakes' on vaccine mandate Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Afghanistan reckoning shows no signs of stopping MORE on Thursday said he won't sign a newly announced bipartisan infrastructure deal if Congress doesn’t also pass a reconciliation bill, committing to a dual-track system to get both bills passed. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellManchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks Biden needs to be both Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside Billionaire tax gains momentum MORE’s (R-Ky.) on Thursday accused Biden of “caving” to his left flank after his comments and other Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyJuan Williams: Trump is killing American democracy Republican spin on Biden is off the mark Cheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member MORE (R-Calif.), are giving early signs the move could quash the bipartisan effort.

“I don't think that's going to work. I don't think that's going to pass. I think they killed any opportunity. I think it was disingenuous in every shape and form," McCarthy said.

Psaki said that Biden will “work like hell” to get both bills passed and that he fully expects to sign them both. 

“It’s something the president stated publicly many times and certainly he was consistent with that case made privately as were our negotiating team that he expected, anticipated, these initiatives would move forward on a dual track,” she said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

She noted that Biden wants his Americans Families Plan, the second part of his initial infrastructure package, to be included in the budget reconciliation process. 

“I don’t think anybody expects that he was going to walk away from his own proposals,” Psaki said.

“I’ll let them speak to themselves,” she added on if the Republicans he reached a deal with on Thursday understood the bills would come in tandem.