McConnell: ‘Good chance’ of deal with Biden on infrastructure

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sounded an optimistic note on Wednesday about the chances of getting a deal with President Biden on infrastructure.

McConnell’s positive rhetoric comes after he and the other three top congressional leaders met with Biden and Vice President Harris, the first time the president has met with the top four leaders in the Oval Office.

“I think both sides would like to get an outcome,” McConnell said during an interview with Fox News, adding that they “discussed an issue upon which there’s a great chance we can get a bipartisan outcome.”

Wednesday’s meeting comes as Biden is stepping up his courting of Republicans. He has pitched a $4 trillion spending package, broken up between a $2.3 trillion jobs plan and a $1.8 trillion families plan.

That top line is a non-starter for Republicans, and McConnell said Republicans reiterated during the sit-down with Biden that they won’t support undoing parts of the 2017 tax cut bill signed into law by former President Trump.

A group of Republicans has proposed a $568 billion infrastructure package, but McConnell on Wednesday didn’t commit himself to a particular top line.

But McConnell said that he believes infrastructure talks have a different tone than a meeting between Biden and 10 Senate Republicans earlier this year on coronavirus relief. That meeting ultimately failed to produce a bipartisan deal, with Democrats using reconciliation, a budget process that allows them to bypass the filibuster, to pass a $1.9 trillion package on their own.

“I think they want a deal this time, and I think they want a deal with us because I don’t think they think they can pass this second effort through a reconciliation package. In other words, I don’t think they can get their own ducks in a row,” McConnell said.

Democrats need total unity among their 50 members in the Senate to pass a bill under reconciliation without GOP support. Democrats have also discussed peeling off parts of their infrastructure plan that can get bipartisan support — such as money for roads, bridges and broadband — into one package and then using reconciliation for the rest.

McConnell indicated that Republicans would support the narrow bill, even if Democrats were going to try to use reconciliation for what doesn’t get bipartisan support.

“Well, they’re in the majority. They don’t need my permission. … I think we’ve got a good chance of getting there on that issue. Whether they’ll try another reconciliation on some other subject is really up to them,” he said.

McConnell’s positive signaling comes after Biden also said he was “encouraged” by the meeting. 

Tags Donald Trump Infrastructure Joe Biden Mitch McConnell
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video