Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is blasting Democrats for poor leadership after they stalled the vote on President Joe Biden‘s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan amid holdout from party members.
McConnell, releasing a statement Saturday, accused the Democrats of ‘letting the radical left run Capitol Hill.’
‘This unified Democratic government must stop putting radical wish-lists ahead of basic governance or they will thrust our nation into even more foreseeable and avoidable crises on their watch,’ he said.
McConnell’s criticism comes as Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have each expressed their frustrations with the stalled legislation, emphasizing that passing both the infrastructure bill and reconciliation package is essential for Americans.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has accused Democratic leadership of ‘ letting the radical left run Capitol Hill’
The Republican leader called out the Democrats for delaying the infrastructure vote for a third time, arguing that they are unable pass the legislation despite the party controlling the White House and Congress.
‘Democrats control Washington but cannot govern,’ McConnell said.
‘They can’t even pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that President Biden negotiated and Speaker Pelosi promised she would pass this week.’
Additionally, he accused the party of putting the American people in one of the worst positions the country has seen in the last three decades.
‘Socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied against the Administration’s infrastructure bill and defeated it. With Americans already suffering the worst inflation in 30 years, Democrats have taken our roads, bridges, ports, airports, and waterways hostage to ram through an historically reckless taxing and spending spree that would hurt families and help China,’ he said.
McConnell released a statement on Saturday in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delaying the infrastructure bill vote for the third time
McConnell also slammed the party for its internal conflict, indirectly calling out the leadership’s inability to appease the moderate Democratic budget holdouts — Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
‘While Democrats waste weeks arguing with each other, they’ve ignored basic governing duties,’ he wrote.
‘On Thursday, Senate Democrats’ mismanagement brought us close to a government shutdown. And for two and a half months, this all-Democrat government has known they will need to use a fast-track party-line process to raise the debt ceiling, but have done nothing.’
Pelosi — who previously vowed to bring the measure to the floor on Monday and Thursday — has admitted that ‘more time is needed’ to pass the legislation after the two sides failed to reach a deal on the broader $3.5 trillion spending package.
She issued a letter Saturday to fellow Democrats stating that she wants the legislation to be passed before the end of the month.
‘There is an October 31st Surface Transportation Authorization deadline, after last night’s passage of a critical 30-day extension. We must pass [Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework] well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there,’ Pelosi wrote.
‘We will and must pass both bills soon. We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so. People are waiting and want results.’
Biden echoed her message, saying: ‘Everybody’s frustrated, it’s part of being in government, being frustrated.’
Both President Joe Biden (left) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) have argued that passing both the infrastructure bill and reconciliation package are necessary for the good of the American people
BREAK DOWN OF THE $1.2T BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL
$110 billion for roads and bridges
$39 billion for public transit
$66 billion for railways
$65 billion for expanding broadband internet
$25 billion to repair major airports
$7.5 billion for the first-ever network of charging stations for electric vehicles
$21 billion to respond to environmental concerns like pollution
$73 billion to modernize America’s energy grid
$650 billion in funding for the bill comes from existing, planned investments in the country’s roads, highways and bridges
The remaining $550 billion over the next five years requires new spending
Democrats wanted to fund the rest through tax revenues like a new gas tax
Republicans wanted to raise money through fees issues on those who use the new infrastructure
The bipartisan compromise, sure to raise heated debate, proposed using $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief aid and unemployment assistance that was turned away by some states
The president also pledged to ‘work like hell’ to get the two pillars of his domestic agenda passed into law, but refrained from laying out a new deadline.
‘I support both of them. And I think we can get them both done,’ he told Fox News.
His statement came after Biden went to Capitol Hill on Friday for a private meeting with House Democrats that was partly a morale booster for the disjointed caucus of lawmakers.
During that meeting, the president offered to slash more than a trillion dollars from his mammoth spending bill. He pleaded with House progressives to agree to cut some $1.5 trillion from the broader bill, according to lawmakers in the room.
The president allegedly left Friday’s meeting ‘with the firm belief that there was a shared commitment from across the Democratic Caucus to deliver for the American people.’
‘The President and his team will continue close engagement with Members of both the House and the Senate through the weekend,’ the White House said in a statement released Saturday.
‘And he looks forward to not only welcoming Members to the White House next week, but also traveling the country to make the case for his bold and ambitious agenda.’
However, some Democratic lawmakers have echoed McConnell’s claim, suggesting the president is giving the budget holdouts too much power.
‘Manchin and Sinema — should we just call them co-president at this point,’ grumbled one Democrat leaving the meeting, according to The Hill.
‘Is that what it’s come down to?’
Sinema, who has vowed to reject the infrastructure measure, took to Twitter Saturday, calling the canceled vote ‘deeply disappointing’ and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.
‘The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country,’ she wrote.
‘Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families.’
Senators Joe Manchin, left, and Kyrsten Sinema, right, both moderate Democrats, are the key holdouts preventing the party from passing the ambitious spending bills
Sinema continued: ‘I have never, and would never, agree to any bargain that would hold one piece of legislation hostage to another.
‘Good-faith negotiations, however, require trust. Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly.’
Meanwhile, Manchin, of West Virginia, — who is also blocking the bill — stands against the 96-member strong Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have banded together in a voting bloc against the infrastructure plan until Senate moderates agree to support the broader social agenda.
On Saturday, he told protestors lawmakers are actively working to reach a compromise.
‘We’re working hard, we really are,’ Manchin said.
‘We want to get a good bill that’s a balanced bill, that’s well done. And I know it won’t be enough for some, it will be too much for others.’
Sen. Joe Manchin, speaking to protesters from aboard his $700,000 yacht on Saturday, said lawmakers are actively working to reach a compromise
Manchin told the protestors: ‘We’re working hard, we really are. We want to get a good bill that’s a balanced bill, that’s well done. And I know it won’t be enough for some, it will be too much for others’