Bloomberg reports that speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t backing off her plan to hold up a bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate delivers a larger, Democratic-only plan expected later this year, prompting a rebuke from Senate Republicans.
Pelosi said she was “enthusiastic” about the $579 billion bipartisan package and hopes the Senate passes it. Her comments came just as bipartisan negotiators were trying wrap up the final details on their plan, which could be announced as early as Monday.
But Pelosi warned, “I won’t put it on the floor until we have the rest of the initiative.”
Democrats are still working on the details of a follow-on, $3.5 trillion package of social spending and taxes over a decade on top of the $579 billion infrastructure deal, and many want to ensure both packages become law.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a top Republican negotiator on the bipartisan deal, warned Pelosi’s plan could threaten the deal.
“What she has just said is entirely counter to what President Biden has committed to, and what the Senate is doing, which is a two-track process,” he said. “The infrastructure bill has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza she’s talking about.”
Pressed on whether that could mean Congress ends up with nothing, Portman said, “If she has her way, we could.”
Portman said the bipartisan negotiators are close to a deal, with a dispute with Democrats over the level of transit funding the last sticking point.
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