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Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, said Tuesday that Democrats who are dead set on using reconciliation to pass a sweeping infrastructure package are in for a fight.
McConnell, who was in Kentucky at the time, said the “era of bipartisanship on this stuff is over,” according to the Hill.
“This is not going to be done on a bipartisan basis,” he said. “This is going to be a hell of a fight over what this country ought to look like in the future and it’s going to unfold here in the next few weeks. I don’t think we’ve had a bigger difference of opinion between the two parties.”
The passage of a larger, multitrillion-dollar bill faces significant hurdles, even if Democrats use a procedural method that requires only a simple majority. It’s far from certain, in an evenly divided Senate, that moderate Democrats will agree to an expansive measure that could swell to as high as $6 trillion.
Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus on Tuesday announced their support of the $973 billion infrastructure deal proposed last month by a bipartisan group of senators.
Fox News was told the caucus’ decision to approve passed with 75% of the vote, with each party passing 50% in support. The caucus endorsed the infrastructure bill as a stand-alone bill and not tied to any reconciliation package.
The bipartisan $973 billion deal includes money to build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, purchase thousands of electric buses and upgrade the electrical grid. It also would spend $55 billion to improve drinking water and wastewater systems and $47 billion in resiliency efforts to tackle climate change.
ABC News reported that Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Tuesday, “There’s a lot of work that needs to happen with Congress, and we expect over the next week there to be a lot of behind the scenes bill writing negotiations discussions on Capitol Hill, long nights, lots of coffee over the course of the next several days. Given that [Senate Majority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer has conveyed that he would like to see both the reconciliation package and the infrastructure bill on the floor in July, and we’re in July now in terms of the president’s priorities.”