Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Manchin, Sinema join GOP to sink filibuster change for voting bill Desperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size MORE (D-Va.) on Sunday said congressional Democrats “blew the timing” on passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill and social spending package, suggesting that the timeline could have contributed to the party’s loss in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial race.
Kaine, who represents Virginia and previously served as governor of the Old Dominion, said Democrats on Capitol Hill should have passed the two bills in October instead of letting internal party disagreements delay the vote.
He said an earlier vote could have boosted the campaign of Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeJill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections The Memo: Is Trump the GOP's future or in rearview mirror? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems barrel towards voting rights vote with no outcome MORE, who ultimately fell short by roughly 68,000 votes to Republican candidate Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinOvernight Health Care — White House sees quick uptake for free tests Governors declare state of emergency ahead of severe winter weather Virginia's new AG tells state colleges they can't require COVID-19 vaccine for students MORE.
“I think congressional Democrats blew the timing. We should’ve passed these bills in early October. If we had, it would have helped Terry McAuliffe probably win the governor's race. It would have been good for President BidenJoe BidenFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Romney tests positive for coronavirus Pelosi sidesteps progressives' March 1 deadline for Build Back Better MORE,” Kaine told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The House on Friday gave final approval to the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the Senate passed in August. The bill now goes to Biden’s desk for his signature.
The vote brought an end to months of negotiations, which were drawn out because of internal disagreements among Democratic lawmakers. House moderates sought to pass the infrastructure after it was approved in the Senate before beginning deliberations on the larger $1.75 trillion social spending package, but progressives demanded that they be advanced together.
A cease-fire was finally struck in the caucus on Friday, when members agreed to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and advance the spending package, with commitments to give the larger bill final approval if the Congressional Budget Office score of the bill matches up with the White House’s estimates.
Kaine on Sunday said passing the bills earlier would have given McAuliffe “so much to sell” on the campaign trail.
The Virginia senator said Congress will ultimately “get the bills done” but noted that “we're going to get them done weeks after the election.”
“We should have gotten them done weeks before the election,” he added.