Hurdles for an Infrastructure Deal

Hurdles for an infrastructure deal remain, even though a bipartisan group got Biden to agree to what they presented. A total of 11 republicans and a similar amount of democrats hammered out negotiations, and Biden approved saying “We have a deal.” What’s next?

Well, a lot. The broad majority of Democrats in the progressive caucus have said they wouldn’t support it unless a larger reconciliation budget deal comes up for a vote at the same time as this infrastructure deal. According to Axios, Bernie Sanders threatened to revolt, and Pelosi said the House wouldn’t move if the compromise cuts too many key priorities. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has remained, silent, but some high-profile Republicans have said they may pull their support for the infrastructure deal if the reconciliation package is too large.

Background

When the topic of infrastructure was first mentioned by President Biden early in his presidency, he said he wanted it to be bipartisan. He could have gone along with the majority of his party who exclaimed “Go big or go home.” The party at large feared that the Republicans would never agree to anything, and would just waste time trying. The reasoning was that if they couldn’t get a bipartisan vote in the Senate to create an independent commission to investigate the lead-up to, the police failures of, and the intent of the January 6th insurrection, then the GOP would never agree to anything. Moreover, when negotiating on the proposed Jan 6th commission, the Democrats agreed to mostly all of the GOP’s demands. But then, they still voted no.

That was followed by the voting bill, which though everyone knew it would fail, the GOP wouldn’t even agree to bring to the Senate floor to discuss.

Hurdles for an Infrastructure Deal

Despite that, Biden was determined to push forward on infrastructure. and held several negotiations with a group of republicans senators led by Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. But then on June 8th, he called it quits.

Then, on June 18th. the New York Times reported:

A bipartisan senators’ group working on a $1 trillion infrastructure compromise more than doubled in size to 21 members Wednesday, a key threshold that gives momentum to their effort as President Joe Biden returns from overseas at a pivotal time for his big legislative priority. 

On June 24th announced, We have a deal!The $1 Trillion Dollar package is much smaller than the huge American Jobs Plan the White House has presented.

Congress is a long way from getting an actual bill signed into law. However, after decades of opposition obstruction, this is the closest Washington has come to bipartisanship for a long, long time. 

What’s Next? Stay tuned.

In This Episode

Dr. Rossi discusses the hurdles for an infrastructure deal and whether the deal is strong enough for democrats, or too aggressive for republicans. Isn’t compromise how government should work? “D.C. hasn’t gotten that message for years,” Dr. Rossi said.

What is infrastructure? Dr. Rossi delves into some of the things that the democrats wanted and questions whether it should be considered infrastructure, or fall into a separate category within healthcare or some other bill.

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