Senate

Trump mocks ‘Old Crow Mitch’ McConnell over Biden’s infrastructure win

Former President Trump took another shot at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday, this time skewering him over voting for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that is President Biden’s biggest bipartisan accomplishment.

“Why is it that Old Crow Mitch McConnell voted for a terrible Democrat Socialist Infrastructure Plan, and induced others in his Party to do likewise, when he was incapable of getting a great Infrastructure Plan wanting to be put forward by me and the Republican Party?” Trump vented in a statement.

Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure bill when he ran for president in 2016. He later eyed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package in 2018 but envisioned the federal government spending $200 billion to spur investment from other sources.

Trump on Tuesday lashed out at McConnell for not getting his infrastructure bill passed when Republicans controlled the White House, Senate and House.

“He continuously said he couldn’t get it passed, just like I had to go around him to get the very popular Southern Border Wall built,” Trump said, referring to his decision in 2019 to declare a national emergency to access funding that Congress blocked for the border wall.

“All of the infrastructure money, $2 Trillion, would have gone into real infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, etc.),” Trump said of his infrastructure plans while president.

Trump called for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan in March of last year as part of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Republicans never seriously considered that proposal after passing the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in late March 2020 to respond to the economic shutdown forced by COVID-19.

McConnell shrugged it off the last time Trump blasted him as an “Old Crow” because his longtime colleague, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), indicated his support for a candidate that Trump didn’t favor in the Alabama Senate Republican primary.

“Actually, it’s quite an honor,” McConnell said when asked about Trump’s insult.

“Old Crow is Henry Clay’s favorite bourbon,” he added, referring to the legendary senator from Kentucky who was known as the “Great Compromiser” because of his efforts to bridge state differences before the Civil War.   

McConnell on Tuesday hailed the bipartisan infrastructure bill as a “godsend” for his home state and noted earlier in the week that it would provide an estimated $4 billion in federal funding for Kentucky.

“We have a lot of infrastructure needs, both in rural areas and with big bridges. It’s a godsend for Kentucky,” he said at a local event.

Trump also criticized McConnell on Tuesday for giving Democrats a “two-month hiatus, just long enough for them to figure it all out, when they were completely ready to fold,” although the GOP leader had no role in the decision by House Democrats to hold up the $1 trillion bipartisan bill for more than two months before sending it Biden’s desk on Friday.

One major reason Trump was never able to get an infrastructure bill while in office was his acrimonious relationship with Democrats.

Trump brusquely walked out of an infrastructure meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who at the time was minority leader, at the White House in May 2019 because he was angry about House Democrats’ investigation of his administration.  

“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure’ … but we can’t do it under these circumstances,” he later told reporters.

This story was updated at 6:57 p.m. 

Tags Build Back Better Charles Schumer Donald Trump infrastructure bill Joe Biden Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Richard Shelby

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