‘Bait and Switch’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Appears Doomed Already
Washington D.C. – One day after a bipartisan group of United States senators reached a $953 billion infrastructure spending agreement with President Biden, the deal now appears to be doomed.
On Thursday, a jubilant President Biden emerged from a half hour meeting at the White House with a group of ten senators — five Republicans and five Democrats — to announce, “We have a deal.”
The deal is a five-year infrastructure package which includes $559 billion in new spending.
However, even before the bipartisan agreement was announced, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicated the bipartisan deal fell far short of the trillions of dollars in new spending Democrats desire on climate initiatives, urban housing, child care benefits and much more.
To ensure Democrats get all the new spending they want, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), in coordination with Speaker Pelosi and the Biden Administration, is preparing a budget reconciliation bill packed with a Democrat wish list of initiatives not included in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
The Democrats’ plan is to pass the bipartisan deal, which requires 60 votes in the Senate, followed by a budget reconciliation bill requiring only 51 votes.
Then, and only then, will Speaker Pelosi bring both bills to the floor of the House of Representatives.
“There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill unless we have a reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate,” she said emphatically at her weekly press conference on Thursday.
When asked about the Speaker’s comments at a press conference of his own, President Biden said he’s confident Democrats will get all they want one way or the other.
“Look, the bipartisan bill from the very beginning was understood there was going to have to be the second part of it,” Mr. Biden said. “I’m not just signing a bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest of it that I proposed.”
Top Republicans like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham are decrying the plan as a “bait and switch” and accusing the Biden Administration of negotiating in bad faith.
“It was never suggested to me during these negotiations that President Biden was holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure proposal unless a liberal reconciliation package was also passed,” Graham Tweeted. “I can’t believe the Biden Administration expects such an obvious bait and switch tactic – motivated by fear of the Left – to work in the Senate and be respected by the American people.”
Even before infrastructure negotiations began, Sen. Schumer signaled Democrats are prepared to go-it-alone and pass as much of their agenda as possible through budget reconciliation.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow the political battle.