President Biden won’t sign bipartisan infrastructure legislation until Congress has also passed a reconciliation package, he told reporters on Thursday.
“If this is the only thing that comes to me, I’m not signing it,” Biden said. “It’s in tandem.”
Biden tied the two pieces of legislation together in his remarks, presenting the bipartisan bill and an accompanying reconciliation package as one achievement, to be passed and signed together.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said earlier on Thursday that she would refuse to hold a vote on a bipartisan bill in the House until the Senate passed legislation via reconciliation.
“There ain’t going to be an infrastructure bill unless we have the reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate,” Pelosi said.
It’s an emerging line that’s partly meant to corral centrist Democrats into signing off on a reconciliation package that will accompany the $973 billion bipartisan bill that the White House announced today. This could avert a scenario in which a bipartisan deal is reached, but the rest of the President’s agenda founders amid infighting over a reconciliation package.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has said that he is open to passing a second bill via reconciliation, so long as a bipartisan deal is also reached.
The extent of support for the bipartisan package remains unclear; five Democratic senators and five Republican senators appeared outside the White House on Thursday to show support for the legislation.
When asked whether he trusted Republicans to pass the bill, Biden told reporters that “the people I was with today are people that I trust.”
“I don’t agree with them on a lot of things, but I trust them when they say this is a deal,” he added.