According to a report from Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stunned his fellow Republicans in the Senate this week with his surprising decision to help push forward President Joe Biden's infrastructure deal that already has some bipartisan support.
The report notes that McConnell's closest associate, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) was also caught by surprise as saying he heard rumblings about McConnells decision to support proceeding with the bill until the senior Republican tweeted out his decision.
"The leader just kind of let everybody do their own thing, and they did. And he did his own thing." Thune explained.
Not all Republicans are happy with McConnell's decision, with some complaining that he will be handing the Democratic president a win, and questions are being raised why McConnell -- who is notorious for his obstructionism -- has chosen to throw his support behind a multi-billion dollar bill that is anathema to budget-conscious Republicans.
According to Politico's Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine, McConnell's decision falls in line with the one thing he cares about in the Senate: maintaining his personal power.
In particular, he's worried about losing the ability to filibuster.
According to the report, "McConnell also surmises that if he and his party became the face of obstruction, it could lead Democratic moderates like Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to waver on the filibuster, advisers said. So in order to keep his veto power intact, McConnell is taking a more conciliatory approach on infrastructure, which he views as less ideological compared to the other issues."
The report goes on to note that McConnell was also willing to face Donald Trump's wrath after the former president attacked him for his announcement of support for an infrastructure bill.
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