Former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE on Monday urged Senate Republicans to abandon talks on a bipartisan infrastructure deal until after the midterm elections or when the GOP retakes majorities in Congress.
"Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called 'bipartisan' infrastructure bill," Trump said in a statement as Senate negotiators work to finalize an agreement this week.
Trump claimed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (R-Ky.) and Republicans working on the deal, such as Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (Ohio), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (Maine) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (Utah), were merely interested in proving they could work with Democrats.
"It is so important to [McConnell] that he is agreeing to almost anything," Trump said. "Don’t do the infrastructure deal, wait until after we get proper election results in 2022 or otherwise, and regain a strong negotiating stance. Republicans, don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!"
The statement marked the third time in recent weeks where Trump has issued a statement through his post-presidency political action group bemoaning Republicans' willingness to negotiate on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Such a deal would be a win for President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE and his agenda, and it would be on an issue where Trump repeatedly tried and failed to secure a deal. Trump as president announced support for a $2 trillion infrastructure package, but no bill ever materialized.
A group of roughly two dozen senators from both parties is hoping to have a deal finalized and be ready to start debate this week.
But the negotiators are struggling to resolve final sticking points, including funding for transit, using unspent COVID-19 relief funds to pay for the deal, water funding and broadband. Democrats made a "global offer" to Republicans on Sunday night that would resolve the outstanding issues, according to a Democratic source close to the talks.
President Biden announced in June an agreement on a $1.2 trillion framework that included hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending, but that deal still has yet to be completed.
Biden and the senators have sunk weeks into trying to get a bipartisan deal, arguing that infrastructure is a long-sought priority for both parties and should be able to get the 60 votes needed to defeat a Senate filibuster. But aides and senators have given mixed prognosis ranging from the group being on the cusp of a final agreement to predicting that the high-profile talks could go either way.
Jordain Carney contributed