- Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill stalled in the House for months before passing on Friday.
- Sen. Tim Kaine said the timing may have cost Terry McAuliffe the governor’s race in Virginia.
- Democrats saw a series of losses on Tuesday in Virginia, a state Biden won decisively in 2020.
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia said his party “blew the timing” on the infrastructure and social spending bills, possibly costing Terry McAuliffe re-election in Virginia, a state won by President Joe Biden in 2020.
McAuliffe, a Democrat, lost the race on Tuesday to Republican Glenn Youngkin, a wealthy businessman and first-time candidate, with Biden’s low approval ratings being cited as a potential factor.
Biden’s sinking approval ratings have been attributed to a number of factors, including the stalling of the infrastructure bill. After passing in the Senate in August, the bill waffled in the House of Representatives for months, finally passing on Friday, days after the election in Virginia.
“I think Congressional Democrats blew the timing,” Kaine told CBS on Sunday, referring to both the infrastructure bill and the Democrats’ social spending package that has not yet passed. “We should have passed these bills in early October.”
“If we had it would’ve helped Terry McAuliffe probably win the governor’s race. It would’ve been good for President Biden,” Kaine continued.
-The Recount (@therecount) November 7, 2021
Democrats had a brutal day of losses Tuesday. In addition to losing the governor’s race, Republican Winsome Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala in the lieutenant governor’s election. Two-term Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring lost to Republican challenger Jason Miyares and Democrats in Virginia House of Delegates saw their majority shrink.
Despite criticizing the timing, Kaine said he was confident the $US1.75 ($AU2) trillion social spending bill, which the Democrats plan to pass without any Republican votes, will happen.
“We are going to get these bills done,” he said. “They’re great for every zip code in this country.”
But a small group of centrists Democrats refused to support the bill on Friday, requesting an economic analysis from the Congressional Budget Office first, causing Speaker Nancy Pelosi to again shelve the vote for now.
Earlier in the week, Kaine blamed “purist” demands by some Democrats in Congress for McAuliffe’s loss.
“Democrats in Congress hurt Terry McAuliffe,” Kaine told reporters Wednesday. “Democrats wanted to be purist about whatever their own particular goals were – left, right and center – and hold out, and dither, and delay.”
Others have blamed the loss on McAuliffe’s attempt to make the race a referendum on former President Donald Trump, despite Youngkin maintaining distance from Trump while still appealing to MAGA voters.