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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is accusing the Biden administration of being “disingenuous” in saying they were supportive of the scaled-down bipartisan infrastructure package, before abruptly demanding a larger package be passed in conjunction — adding that it will make future negotiations on major priorities more difficult.
President Biden on Thursday endorsed a single bipartisan infrastructure deal to spend $1.2 trillion over eight years, before pivoting at a press conference hours later, stating that he’s “not signing it” without a second deal containing more spending on “human infrastructure” than was agreed to.
Biden’s comments echoed those of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who told reporters that the bill would not come to the House floor without an accompanying reconciliation bill to address social spending.
McCarthy said he doesn’t believe the Democrats’ push for two bills will garner the support to pass both chambers, adding that he thinks the window to strike a deal that both parties could support has closed.
“I think my members think they needed the chiropractor because they got whiplash after watching the president yesterday say there was a deal, then say there was no deal,” McCarthy quipped at a press conference Friday.
“I don’t think that’s going to work, I don’t think that’s going to pass, and I think they killed any opportunity. I think it’s disingenuous in every shape or form.”
McCarthy said there were elements of the deal he was supportive of, stating that he thought the narrower scope of the agreement was an encouraging sign, adding that be believes that GOP negotiators are frustrated with the outcome following Biden’s remarks.
“I thought that was very productive and then I watched the president go out and say he came to an agreement, that’s always positive as an American that we can find agreement, on both sides … I don’t know what that agreement is if you say you can’t have this unless you vote for another $5 trillion over here, and it has to be at the same time alongside it — that’s no deal,” he continued.
“And I think that’s very difficult for a future Biden administration getting any agreement, who can trust them?”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also said his optimism over their ability to pass a deal waned after Biden’s remarks Thursday.
“Less than two hours after publicly commending our colleagues and endorsing the bipartisan agreement, the president took the extraordinary step of threatening to veto it. It was a tale of two press conferences — endorse the agreement in one breath and threaten to veto it in the next. Less than two hours. It almost makes your head spin. An expression of bipartisanship, and then an ultimatum on behalf of your left-wing base,” he said on the floor Thursday evening.
Democratic leadership said they are aiming to bring the bills to the floor in July.
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