It's "infrastructure week" again for former president Donald Trump, who's trying to make sure President Joe Biden fails at passing a sweeping spending bill, as well.
The twice-impeached one-term president has encouraged Republican lawmakers to walk away from negotiations and criticized Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for engaging in talks, but GOP senators told Politico they've asked Trump to stop talking down the deal and actually lend his support.
"The last time I told him there's not going to be any tax increases, and I'm of the opinion let's do a deal that's good for the roads, ports, and bridges -- let's do it," said Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC). "I appreciate the effort of everyone and I'm hoping we get there."
But Trump has made clear he won't support a bipartisan deal, and aides say he remains angry that he couldn't get a big bill passed while he was president.
"They had four years to do an infrastructure deal with someone who knows infrastructure and actually builds buildings," said one Trump aide. "I'm just speaking for myself, he hasn't said, 'Oh they should have done it with me,' but if they actually wanted infrastructure they would have done it when President Trump was in there."
Retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who said Wednesday there's a agreement on the bill's broader outlines, and he asked the former president to get behind it, as well, but one GOP aide said Trump's behind-the-scenes efforts don't have much impact on negotiations.
"I don't think there's a lot there," said senior GOP aide. "It's not reverberating here. I don't think Rob Portman sees this and goes, 'Oh no, I have to give up.'"