Former President Donald Trump made another statement on Monday urging Senate Republicans to table negotiations for a bipartisan infrastructure package until after the 2022 midterm elections or when the GOP regains a majority in order to “strengthen” their negotiating position.
“Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called ‘bipartisan’ infrastructure bill,” Trump said of the negotiations so far.
“It is so important to [McConnell] that he is agreeing to almost anything,” Trump went on. “Don’t do the infrastructure deal, wait until after we get proper election results in 2022 or otherwise, and regain a strong negotiating stance. Republicans, don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!”
It is the third time Trump has made a statement about infrastructure in recent weeks. Getting an infrastructure package passed into law would be a win for President Joe Biden’s agenda, and would be an accomplishment Trump failed to get while he was in office.
Couldn’t be done
Trump repeatedly signaled a desire for an infrastructure package while in office, but no bill was ever passed.
A bipartisan group of about two dozen lawmakers have been working on a package together, but have run into several sticking points in recent weeks.
So far, they have been unable to resolve funding for transit, using unspent COVID-19 relief funds to pay for the deal, water funding and broadband.
Reportedly, Democrats made a “global offer” to Republicans that would resolve all the outstanding issues, according to sources familiar with the talks.
Hanging on by the filibuster
Both sides want to see a deal on infrastructure made, but have been hampered by the usual disagreements on what should be included and how much should be spent.
With Democrats in charge of the House, the Senate and the Executive branch, the only leverage Republicans currently have is the filibuster, which requires the Senate to get the support of 10 Democrats in order to end debate and advance a bill for a vote.
It is a pertinent question whether another trillion-plus dollars should be spent on anything by the government at this point when inflation has reared its ugly head and threatens to derail the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Maybe the kind of gridlock that results from the current hyperpartisan environment is exactly what the country needs right now, and will be of greater benefit than increasing spending to the point where our debt will engulf us and we will never be able to recover.