There is no bipartisan consensus when it comes to the infrastructure plan at the moment, unless we are talking about the fact that both sides are not willing to negotiate with the other. It seems like each of them has dug in their heels at this point. Now that Republicans have access to the latest data about inflation, they are going be less and less likely to go along with the bill.
Even their own proposal is being scrutinized more and more now. That’s why the onus is on Chuck Schumer to find a middle ground that both parties can be happy with. Politico has more:
“Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who leads the House transportation committee, trashed the bipartisan GOP-negotiated measure in a fiery call with other Democrats, according to three sources on the call.
The “whole thing falling apart is probably the best thing,” DeFazio said on the call of the Senate talks, which have President Joe Biden’s endorsement..
DeFazio’s frustrations were echoed by several other members on the call. One lawmaker, Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) called the current process “bullshit,” and some vowed to work against the Senate’s bipartisan effort.
“I said the whole process seemed like [bulls—],” Carbajal told POLITICO in a brief interview afterward. “A lot of work has gone into this. There’s been a bipartisan effort to really align everything together, and you know it’s just very frustrating and disappointing when so much work goes into this … It is just annoying, to say the least.”
We understand the annoyance but Politico has offered up another reason for the widespread frustration:
“The comments reflect weeks of simmering tensions in the House, where some senior Democrats say they’ve largely been left out of Biden’s talks with the GOP.”
The lower chamber Democrats were not willing to take the effort seriously enough. They needed to be engaging with House Republicans when it came time to write the bill. Schumer has a heck of a task ahead of him now, as he is the one who needs to create the bipartisan groundswell to push it through. Pelosi got involved, things got overly performative and now here we are.
DeFazio and company are annoyed that their advice is not being taken by Biden during his recent chats with Republicans. Meanwhile, Schumer is scheduling a cloture vote, even though no copy of the bill even exists yet. They don’t even have the rough outline of an agreement. Senate Republicans are sounding off the alarm bells, especially Susan Collins:
“In recent days, the GOP chorus against Schumer’s plan has reached a crescendo, arguing that he is rushing the process and jeopardizing a potential final product, with top Republicans and negotiators saying that the bill is in no position to reach the floor.
“There’s no bill. You can’t expect that many Republicans to move forward on a pretty vague concept,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of GOP leadership (pictured below). “It’s pretty much up to the majority leader. If he wants to kill the bipartisan bill, insisting on a vote before there’s a bill is a certain way to kill the bipartisan discussion” (Politico).
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told The Hill that there simply isn’t enough time to land the infrastructure plane ahead of Wednesday. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a key negotiator, added that he will not vote to proceed if no accord is reached.”
For Schumer’s part, his whole plan seems to boil down to asking Republicans to trust him. He is claiming that the vote will be taking place on a shell amendment and he believes that the GOP will trust to fill in that shell as needed. There’s no way that anyone is going to go for this and Schumer is insane to even think that this is an option. The Democrats are trying their best to manufacture urgency with their arbitrary deadlines but that gambit is not going to work.