Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) came out in support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday, becoming the fifth House Republican to do so.
The five Republicans are backing the Senate-passed bill despite the fact that their leadership team is whipping members against it.
“First of all, I think we need hard infrastructure. I worked on this bill from the beginning as part of the Problem Solvers so it’s been a half-Republican, half-Democrat effort,” Bacon told reporters. “I think it’s an area we can show Congress working.”
Bacon also said he thought it was wrong for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to “pick this fight.” McCarthy criticized the bill as not being bipartisan.
Democrats are scrambling to reach a deal within their House caucus that would ensure the infrastructure bill passes the House next week.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a commitment to House centrists to vote on the bill by Sept. 27, but progressives in the House want the House to first vote on a larger $3.5 trillion spending package. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has said half of that group could vote against the infrastructure bill if their demands are not met.
Bacon’s support gives Democrats a little more wiggle room to lose some Democratic votes, though not nearly enough of progressives vote en masse against the legislation.
GOP Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Tom Reed (N.Y.) and Fred Upton (Mich.) have also publicly signaled that they will support the infrastructure bill according to The Hill’s whip list.
To pass this legislation, House Democrats can only afford to lose about three votes from their party without any help from Republicans.
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