- Nancy Pelosi says the House won’t vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate acts on a separate one.
- “We all know that more needs to be done,” she offered in an appearance on ABC on Sunday.
- Sen. Rob Portman says Pelosi’s stance contradicts the president’s pursuit of a bipartisan deal.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On Sunday in separate appearances on ABC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio offered up opposing viewpoints on the timeline of passing a bipartisan infrastructure package.
Pelosi reinforced her stance to hold up the $US1 ($AU1) trillion agreement as Democrats work to finalize a separate $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion spending package, in hopes that they both get passed together.
“We are rooting for the infrastructure bill to pass, but we all know that more needs to be done,” she said.
During his own interview on ABC, Portman, a Republican who is one of the leading negotiators on the bipartisan package, called Pelosi’s stance “entirely counter” to President Joe Biden’s commitment to bipartisan efforts in the House and the Senate, adding that the $US1 ($AU1) trillion infrastructure bill “has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza (Pelosi’s) talking about.”
The $US1 ($AU1) trillion infrastructure package contains $US579 ($AU787) billion in new spending dedicated to increasing broadband connections nationwide as well as updating bridges and roads.
Earlier in the week, however, Republican senators voted against that same infrastructure bill they’d previously come to an agreement on with the White House, citing concerns over an extra $US40 ($AU54) billion in IRS funding.
According to reports from The Wall Street Journal, Sen. Lindsay Graham went further by encouraging Republican members to leave Washington in efforts to prevent Senate Democrats from having the 51 senators required to operate, which is called a quorum.
If the Democrats are successful, the agreement would total $US4.1 ($AU6) trillion in new spending, making it one of the largest spending bills ever advanced by Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Democrats’ $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion package would pay for social-program expansions including Medicare coverage for dental and vision care.
The leading senate negotiators Portman and Mitt Romney said they might be ready to vote on the $US1 ($AU1) trillion package on Monday, after disagreements including the $US40 ($AU54) billion in IRS spending were ironed out.