Trump pressures McConnell, GOP to ditch bipartisan talks until they have majority

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups 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 McConnellOn The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Treasury to use extraordinary measures despite debt ceiling hike MORE (R-Ky.) and Republicans working on the deal, such as Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Ohio), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenators ask Biden administration to fund program that helps people pay heating bills McConnell gets GOP wake-up call Republicans are today's Dixiecrats MORE (Maine) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (Utah), were merely interested in proving they could work with Democrats.

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"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 BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging 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.

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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