Some GOPers Calmed Down After Biden Cleared Up Their Faux Infrastructure Brouhaha

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) prepares to board a buss and leave the U.S. Capitol for a meeting at the White House on June 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Following the meeting at the White House, Pre... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) prepares to board a buss and leave the U.S. Capitol for a meeting at the White House on June 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Following the meeting at the White House, President Joe Biden announced that he and the bipartisan senators had struck a deal on a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure deal with new investments in roads, broadband internet, electric utilities and other projects. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 27, 2021 5:36 p.m.

A few Republican senators on Sunday put their constant whining about Democrats’ commitment to passing both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and President Biden’s more progressive infrastructure priorities together through a reconciliation package aside, following Biden’s statement that clarified that he is not issuing the veto threat that Republicans have fear-mongered about for days.

In his statement, issued Saturday, Biden said that it was not his intent to “create the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to” after saying last week that he would not sign the bipartisan bill unless he could do so in “tandem” with a reconciliation bill.

“So to be clear,” he continued, “our bipartisan agreement does not preclude Republicans from attempting to defeat my Families Plan; likewise, they should have no objections to my devoted efforts to pass that Families Plan and other proposals in tandem. We will let the American people—and the Congress—decide.”

Biden said that he “fully stands behind (the bipartisan infrastructure proposal) without reservation or hesitation,” and acknowledged that his demand had “understandably upset some Republicans” such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who painted the President’s declaration last week as an implicit veto threat.

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Biden’s statement on Saturday restated that both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and the budget reconciliation are a package deal — in which there are only Democratic votes for with Democrats having control of both chambers of Congress.

Here’s how a few Republicans on Sunday responded to Biden’s new statement clearing up the brouhaha they created:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

After saying he was supposedly “blindsided” by Biden’s remarks, Portman told ABC News that he was “very glad” to see Biden clarify his remarks. Portman still believed that Biden’s demands of passing the bipartisan infrastructure deal and reconciliation package together was “inconsistent with everything that we had been told all along the way,” but expressed hope that the bipartisan bill can move forward now that the President reiterated his commitment to supporting it.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)

During an appearance on CNN, Romney said he trusts the President and that he accepts Biden’s statement that assured that a veto threat is not in the cards for the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

“I do trust the President and, he made very clear in the much larger statement that came out over the weekend, the carefully crafted and thought through piece by piece, as that if the infrastructure bill reaches his desk, and it comes alone, he will sign it,” Romney said, despite how the President’s statement made clear that he still views the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the reconciliation bill as a package deal.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cassidy said that although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “didn’t like the President throwing the wrench in there” when he accused Biden of an implicit veto threat, he predicted that McConnell could come on board with the bipartisan infrastructure deal now that the President attempted to clarify a situation that GOPers had sought to muddle.

“If we can pull this off, I think Mitch will favor it. Now he didn’t like the president throwing the wrench in there saying, ‘Listen, the two are tied together,'” Cassidy said. “That’s not what we were told, and so of course that caused a little bit of a hm, let’s think about this. But I think Mitch McConnell wants infrastructure as much as anyone else. He wants the jobs that this will create. I think Leader McConnell will be for it, if it continues to come together as it is.”

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