The White House has agreed to a sweeping, bipartisan compromise on infrastructure with at least 11 Republican senators saying they are in favor of the deal — but already, many Republicans are complaining because of President Joe Biden's comment that he would only sign the bill if paired with a reconciliation bill that can be passed with Democratic votes alone.
The problem for Republicans, however, is that passing a reconciliation bill alongside the bipartisan bill was always on the table — and in fact some Republicans even suggested they were fine with Biden pursuing such a strategy.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who unsuccessfully headed up the first round of infrastructure talks, said that "we know that they have that option, we used that option in 2017," and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said "My advice to the White House has been, take that bipartisan win ... and then if you want to force the rest of the package on Republicans in the Congress and the country, you can certainly do that."
On Friday, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain reminded Republicans of their former stance, by retweeting Blunt's previous comments on reconciliation.
I get the feeling the White House is unimpressed by Senate Republicans' faux outrage over infrastructure. https://t.co/Z3TjudzbB7— Steve Benen (@Steve Benen) 1624645461.0
The bipartisan infrastructure agreement, which was the brainchild of conservative Democrats including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), could theoretically still be passed as part of a reconciliation package with only Democratic votes if Republicans decide to withdraw their support.