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politico – Republicans back on board after Biden infrastructure cleanup

Romney predicted that the proposal, which has not been drafted but aims to provide nearly $ 600 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and broadband, would have enough support to pass the Senate. He will need at least 60 votes, including at least 10 Republicans. Some of those necessary GOP votes faltered on Friday after Biden said that if the bipartisan bill “is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it.”

“I am happy that they have now been disassociated and that we can move forward with a bipartisan bill,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the GOP’s chief negotiator, said on ABC “This Week “. He said Republicans “were happy to see them disconnected. And now we can move on.

Group member Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Told CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that he believed the legislation “will get well over 60 votes in the end.” Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Even predicted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might join us. McConnell criticized Biden’s comments last week as “completely ceding” to the party’s left wing and has repeatedly stressed his commitment to derail Biden’s progressive agenda.

“If we can get it right I think Mitch will be supportive. Now he didn’t like the president throwing the key in and saying, ‘Look, the two are linked,'” Cassidy said on “Meet the Press.” NBC. “

Warm comments from Republicans on Sunday signal that during the two-week holiday on July 4, negotiators can begin drafting legislation that includes the largest investments in physical infrastructure in U.S. history. While there are more opportunities for this effort to derail, Biden’s work to reassure Republicans to stay on board and his recognition on Saturday that they were “naturally angry” with him seems to be paying off.

At the same time, the biggest Democratic spending bill on child care, climate change, expanding medicare, and other progressive priorities is also being shaped by party leaders – and some decisive vote of the Appalachians.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Democrats’ most elusive vote for the plan in an equally divided Senate, said on Sunday he would join the work on a larger and separate “human infrastructure” measure. He has also said he will support raising the corporate tax rate to 25% and raising capital gains taxes to 28% to help foot the bill, compromise positions that will nonetheless please the public. Democrats who want to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

But he backed down from Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ‘S price of $ 6 trillion and said he would like to avoid deficit spending on the proposal. Manchin suggested that Sanders’ ambitions could be reduced by 75% or more in order to win his vote.

“If they think about reconciliation, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go to $ 5,000 billion or $ 6 trillion when we can only afford $ 1 trillion or $ 1.5 trillion or maybe $ 2 trillion and what we can pay, so I can’t be there, ”Manchin said on“ This Week ”.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he wants the Senate to consider the bipartisan infrastructure plan in July and pass a budget resolution putting in place the separate and partisan bill. Scheduled for advancement using the procedural protections of budget reconciliation, this second bill needs democratic support in the Senate, but can avoid GOP obstruction.

President Nancy Pelosi said her chamber would not accept the bipartisan bill without the Senate passing the reconciliation bill.

“It is very important that the President knows that the progressives in the House and the Democratic caucus are there to make sure he does not fail,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) said on ” Meet the Press “. applaud this work and its collaboration with Republicans… that doesn’t mean the president should be constrained by Republicans. “

Democrats will first have to settle for a price tag for their budget bills. At the same time, Biden will need to keep Republicans on board with the bipartisan plan.

This is a convoluted Congressional strategy, but one that mirrors Biden’s approach to Congress, balancing his desire to make deals with Republicans and his running of a much more progressive party than it was. ten years ago. He made it clear on Saturday that he sees his infrastructure program as two separate laws and predicted that both will come to his office for his signature.

“Some other Democrats have said they might oppose the infrastructure plan because it leaves out things they think are important: that’s a mistake, in my opinion. Some Republicans are now saying they might oppose the infrastructure plan because I’m also trying to push through the American family plan – that’s also a mistake, ”Biden said on Saturday. “I plan to work hard to get them both done. “

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