White House press secretary Jen Psaki has a message for GOP senators who’ve been wailing about President Joe Biden dodging their trap by refusing to sign a bipartisan infrastructure bill without a reconciliation bill: Suck it up, buttercup.
During a press briefing on Friday, Psaki shrugged off Republicans’ complaints about Biden’s demand — which foiled their scheme to torpedo the president’s more progressive infrastructure proposals.
“It is up to Republicans … to decide if they are going to vote against a historic investment in infrastructure that’s going to rebuild roads and railways and bridges in their communities simply because they don’t like the mechanics of the process,” the White House official said.
“That’s a pretty absurd argument for them to make,” she added. “Good luck on the political front on that argument.”
Psaki’s remarks signaled that the Biden administration would keep playing hardball with GOP senators, who had bet that a watered-down bipartisan proposal would keep moderate Democrats from agreeing to a reconciliation bill containing much more progressive priorities.
But it turned out that the Republicans had effectively stepped on a rake when Biden announced on Thursday that he would only sign the bipartisan bill if the reconciliation bill were on his desk at the same time.
“If he’s gonna tie them together, he can forget it!” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) fumed.