McConnell stresses infrastructure's popularity with GOP after Trump criticism

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats livid over GOP's COVID-19 attacks on Biden US could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Ky.) stressed that infrastructure is popular with Democrats as well as Republicans after former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE criticized a $1 trillion bipartisan proposal that passed the upper chamber on Tuesday.

McConnell spoke with The Wall Street Journal after the Senate voted 69-30 to pass the bipartisan proposal, the culmination of months of negotiations between lawmakers and the White House.

McConnell, who supported the bill, said infrastructure is a bipartisan issue.

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“Infrastructure is popular with both Republicans and Democrats,” he said.

“The American people, divided, sent us a 50-50 Senate and a narrowly divided House. I don’t think the message from that was, ‘Do absolutely nothing.’ And if you’re going to find an area of potential agreement, I can’t think of a better one than infrastructure, which is desperately needed,” he continued.

The bipartisan proposal, spearheaded by Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaIRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Green groups spend big to promote climate policy MORE (D-Ariz.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Senate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats Ohio Senate candidate unveils ad comparing Biden to Carter MORE (R-Ohio), includes roughly $550 billion in new funding for investments in roads, bridges, broadband, water and rail.

It now heads to the House, where Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level MORE (D-Calif.) has vowed to pass it alongside a separate $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” proposal, which includes mainly Democratic priorities and passed the Senate early Wednesday.

Ahead of the bipartisan bill’s passage, Trump ripped McConnell as “overrated” due to his support of the legislation.

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“I have quietly said for years that Mitch McConnell is the most overrated man in politics—now I don’t have to be quiet anymore,” Trump said. “He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country.”

McConnell declined to speak about Trump at all to the Journal.

“I’m dealing with the future, not the past,” McConnell said during a separate interview with The Washington Post when asked about Trump.

McConnell told the newspaper that he doesn't think supporting the proposal would hurt the GOP.  

“My judgment was, it would not hurt the Republican Party to be part of an agreement to do something the American people desperately need,” McConnell said.