McCarthy pans deal: Biden gave GOP ‘whiplash’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Friday poured cold water on a $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal struck by the White House and senators of both parties a day earlier, predicting it would not pass Congress after President Biden linked it to a separate multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package.   

“I think my members need a chiropractor ‘cause they got whiplash after watching the president yesterday say there was a deal and say there was no deal, say: ‘You can have a deal on the trillion dollars on infrastructure, but you’ve got to vote for $5 trillion at the same time too, and you’ve got to raise taxes on everybody, and you’ve got to have a Green New Deal,’” McCarthy told reporters at his weekly news conference. 

“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.”

On Thursday, Biden and a bipartisan group of senators emerged from the White House to announce a five-year agreement on a massive package funding traditional infrastructure like roads, bridges, ports, rail and broadband. The group, led by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), said the deal proved that Washington could still do big, bipartisan things.

But the same day, the president vowed that he wouldn’t sign the infrastructure deal into law unless a separate budget reconciliation package — which would allow Democrats to pass his other priorities without GOP support — came to his desk. 

The infrastructure and reconciliation packages would need to be passed “in tandem,” Biden said.

McCarthy joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in warning that that prerequisite would be a deal breaker for Republicans.

“That’s no deal. And I think that’s very difficult for a future Biden administration getting any agreement; who can trust them?” McCarthy said.

“I assume most every single member went there in good faith on the Republican and Democrat side. And I imagine every single one who walks out feels that somehow, it wasn’t an honest negotiation. And that’s a difficulty for America to get something else done.”

Tags budget reconciliation Filibuster Infrastructure Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Kyrsten Sinema Mitch McConnell Rob Portman
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