From Conservative Brief:
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham went off on some of his fellow Republicans who negotiated a bipartisan infrastructure deal with Democrats and the Joe Biden White House.
It was discovered, after the bipartisan deal was reached, that Biden wanted to do a separate bill that would have all of the pet projects that progressives wanted and it would be set to pass through reconciliation, which would not require any Republican votes, Politico reported.
1) The Senate will turn the bipartisan agreement into legislative text in the coming days so it can pass it out of the chamber in July. The House will likely have its own version. But instead of conferencing and approving a combined bill for Biden’s signature before the August recess, leaders will put infrastructure on ice until the Democrats-only bill catches up.
2) Schumer and Pelosi plan to have both their chambers pass their respective budget resolutions before the August recess, enabling Democrats to unlock the fast-tracking reconciliation tool.
3) That budget will include instructions for each committee to tackle everything from corporate tax hikes to climate change, education, paid family leave and the like — in other words, everything Democrats want that’s not included in the bipartisan infrastructure package. The panels will work over the August recess to draft the massive reconciliation bill, which Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) hopes will top $6 trillion.
4) When lawmakers return in September from the August recess, they’ll have a few weeks to clear both bills at the same time. The new deadline for getting both to Biden’s desk, per Democratic leaders, is Sept. 30, when a bunch of surface transportation programs expire.
As he was boarding a plane on Thursday night, Sen. Graham said that there is no way that he would vote for the deal.
“I’m not doing that,”he said to Politico before he got on the plane. “That’s extortion! I’m not going to do that.”
“Most Republicans could not have known that,” he said about the Democrats’ plan. “There’s no way. You look like a fu**ing idiot now,” he said of Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman and Mitt Romney who negotiated the deal.
“I don’t mind bipartisanship, but I’m not going to do a suicide mission,” he said.
But it was weeks ago that Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer indicated that this would be his plan.
“It may well be that part of the bill that will pass will be bipartisan and part of it will be through reconciliation,” he said. “But we’re not going to sacrifice the bigness and boldness in this bill. We’ll just pursue two paths, and at some point they will join.”
And Biden made it known days ago that he would not sign the bill if the other reconciliation bill did not come along with it.
“If this is the only thing that comes to me, I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem,” he said.
On Friday Sen. Graham tweeted about his frustration with the deal.
“No deal by extortion! It was never suggested to me during these negotiations that President Biden was holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure proposal unless a liberal reconciliation package was also passed. … I can’t imagine any other Republican had that impression,” he said.
No deal by extortion!
It was never suggested to me during these negotiations that President Biden was holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure proposal unless a liberal reconciliation package was also passed. https://t.co/JgYFma6oI0
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 25, 2021
“It completely violates the spirit of the deal. The Republicans involved in negotiations feel betrayed and made fools of for agreeing to a deal in which the Democrats will ultimately get everything they want,” Sen. Rob Portman former Brian Riedl said. “Moderate Republicans had an understanding that they were scaling down the cost of the final deal, not simply transferring that cost to a second bill.”
This article was originally posted at Conservative Brief.
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