Oh Boy! As you’d expect, having taken the whole shocked, stunned, totally really angry line at face value Politico Playbook is shifting gears to this …
MCCONNELL’S NEXT MOVE: We’ve been waiting for Senate Minority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL to play his next card on the infrastructure deal. He has encouraged the talks but hasn’t backed the agreement reached between the bipartisan group of 10 senators and the White House. Over the weekend, he helped initiate the GOP revolt against Biden’s now-abandoned veto threat.
Having seen the White House retreat from that position, McConnell went a step further this morning and asked Democratic leaders to abandon their legislative strategy:
“The President has appropriately delinked a potential bipartisan infrastructure bill from the massive, unrelated tax-and-spend plans that Democrats want to pursue on a partisan basis. Now I am calling on President Biden to engage Leader [CHUCK] SCHUMER and Speaker [NANCY] PELOSI and make sure they follow his lead.
“Unless Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi walk-back their threats that they will refuse to send the president a bipartisan infrastructure bill unless they also separately pass trillions of dollars for unrelated tax hikes, wasteful spending, and Green New Deal socialism, then President Biden’s walk-back of his veto threat would be a hollow gesture.
In other words, Mitch McConnell, who never endorsed the bipartisan mini-bill and didn’t appear to support is the one who started the outrage/betrayal cycle before the supposed negotiators realized they were mad about anything. Now having seen Biden pull back he’s trying to press his advantage, announcing that Democrats must foreswear the rest of their agenda as a price of GOP support on the mini-bill. Now there wasn’t really quite a veto threat. That was at least half made up. And there wasn’t really a clear walk back. But Playbook is basically conceding here that the whole thing was made up in the first place and pretextual.