McConnell warns Democrats against 'artificial timeline' for infrastructure deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (R-Ky.) sent a warning shot on Monday over the bipartisan infrastructure deal, saying that Democrats shouldn’t create an “artificial timeline” and that Republicans want to offer potential changes.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, called the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan deal a “good and important jumping-off point” but that it shouldn’t be the Senate’s “last word.”

It needs to be "a robust and bipartisan process out here on the floor,” he said.


“Senators on both sides expect and deserve opportunities to have a say and put their own state’s imprints on this major bill,” he added.

McConnell’s comments come after the bipartisan group finalized its bill on Sunday night. The bill is substantially smaller than President BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE’s plan, but includes funds for things like roads, bridges, transit, water and broadband.

Because the bill took weeks to draft, Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill Centrist state lawmaker enters Ohio GOP Senate primary Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-N.Y.) and some of the GOP negotiators want to pass the bill this week, potentially before a sizable number of senators are expected to go to a service on Friday for the late Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziWhat Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Biden celebrates monstrous jobs report MORE (R-Wyo.).

“The Senate can and should consider more amendments ... I would encourage senators from both sides of the aisle to submit potential amendments,” Schumer said on Monday

The Senate is expected to leave for a summer break as soon as Aug. 9, though that could slip because of the infrastructure debate.


Schumer warned on Monday that “the longer it takes to finish the bill, the longer we’ll be here.”

But McConnell, speaking after Schumer, responded that the Senate’s debate “must not be choked off by an artificial timeline that our Democratic colleagues may have penciled out for political purposes.”

To wrap up debate on the bill Schumer will need the support of at least 10 GOP senators in addition to his whole caucus.

So far 17 GOP senators, including McConnell, have helped advance the bill. But several told The Hill that they were undecided on if they were a “yes” moving forward.

"I can't say until I see the statutory language. In fact, I can tell you that I told the whip organization that I'll vote to move to the bill, but I'm not going to tell you how I'm going to vote for the bill yet," said Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing MORE (R-Iowa).