How Biden Got the Infrastructure Deal Trump Couldn’t
As Mr. Biden pushed for a deal in recent weeks with a group of Republican and Democratic negotiators in the Senate – including Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, a longtime Trump foil – the former president has lashed out at press releases, urging his party to walk away.
“Hard to believe our Senate Republicans are dealing with the radical left Democrats by making a so-called bipartisan ‘infrastructure’ bill, with our negotiators led by super RINO Mitt Romney,” Trump wrote in a statement Wednesday, referring to the Utah senator with the acronym of Republican in name only. “It will be a victory for the Biden administration and the Democrats, and will be widely used in the 2022 election. It’s a loser for the United States, a terrible deal, and makes Republicans look weak, stupid and stupid. “
Shortly thereafter, the deal advanced to the Senate. Seventeen Republicans voted to accept it, including Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has been careful to distance himself from Mr. Trump in recent months. It was not clear whether the Minority Leader, who had previously said he was “100% focused” on stopping Mr Biden’s agenda, would ultimately support the bill.
Yet Mr Biden – who has previously negotiated deals with Mr McConnell – has been personally invested in finding a compromise, administration officials said, drawing on his experience as a negotiator in the Senate. .
“Biden and his team were prepared to work patiently with Republicans, and Trump and his team were unwilling to do so with Democrats,” said Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia. He added: “I give immense credit to the senators who have done this, but I have to say that one ingredient that is needed is a White House that really wants to do it, that will spread across the country. gone and will stay at the table. “
Mr Biden also sent legislative assistants and members of his high-level cabinet to contact lawmakers on both sides. Republican Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said he had received repeated calls from Jennifer Granholm, the Secretary of Energy, and members of the legislative staff – “always very gently and respectfully” – to discuss the deal emerge and “take my temperature” before voting. move the measure forward.
Several senators said the president and his team spent hours with them in person on Capitol Hill and on the phone discussing the details of the legislation, including thorny disagreements over how to fund billions of dollars in new spending.
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