White House: ‘Absurd’ for GOP to take issue with dual-track infrastructure approach

White House: ‘Absurd’ for GOP to take issue with dual-track infrastructure approach

The White House is pushing back on complaints from Republicans over Democrats’ plans to simultaneously pursue a bipartisan infrastructure package and one that can pass via reconciliation without GOP support.

“I think the American people are quite focused on how we’re getting work done on their behalf, less focused on the mechanics of the process. Now it is up to Republicans … to decide if they are going to vote against a historic investment in infrastructure that’s going to rebuild roads and railways and bridges in their communities, simply because they don’t like the mechanics of the process,” press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Senators, White House to meet on potential infrastructure deal Democrats hit wall on voting rights push MORE told reporters on Friday.

“That’s a pretty absurd argument for them to make. Good luck on the political front on that argument,” she added. 

President BidenJoe Biden Pence said he’s ‘proud’ Congress certified Biden’s win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll US to give Afghanistan 3M doses of J&J vaccine MORE on Thursday said he won’t sign a newly announced bipartisan infrastructure deal if Congress doesn’t also pass a reconciliation bill, committing to a dual-track system to get both bills passed. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRevs. Jesse Jackson, William Barber arrested in protest urging Manchin to nix filibuster On The Money: Biden announces bipartisan deal on infrastructure, but Democratic leaders hold out for more McConnell slams Biden for already ‘caving’ to left on infrastructure deal MORE’s (R-Ky.) on Thursday accused Biden of “caving” to his left flank after his comments and other Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats to create select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Senators, White House to meet on potential infrastructure deal Defense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors MORE (R-Calif.), are giving early signs the move could quash the bipartisan effort.

“I don’t think that’s going to work. I don’t think that’s going to pass. I think they killed any opportunity. I think it was disingenuous in every shape and form,” McCarthy said.

Psaki said that Biden will “work like hell” to get both bills passed and that he fully expects to sign them both. 

“It’s something the president stated publicly many times and certainly he was consistent with that case made privately as were our negotiating team that he expected, anticipated, these initiatives would move forward on a dual track,” she said. 

She noted that Biden wants his Americans Families Plan, the second part of his initial infrastructure package, to be included in the budget reconciliation process. 

“I don’t think anybody expects that he was going to walk away from his own proposals,” Psaki said.

“I’ll let them speak to themselves,” she added on if the Republicans he reached a deal with on Thursday understood the bills would come in tandem.