Senate Republican 'not happy' with Pelosi plan to delay infrastructure vote
Republican Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), the lead GOP negotiator on infrastructure, said Sunday that he is “not happy” about Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’s (D-Calif.) plan to delay a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal until a larger reconciliation package is passed.
“The infrastructure bill has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza that she's talking about. ... So, no, I’m not happy with what she said because it's inconsistent with the agreement that we have on a bipartisan basis,” Portman told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
When pressed on if that means Congress may not end up passing an infrastructure package, Portman said, "Well, if she has her way, we could. I’m not sure what the future is on reconciliation."
"I know that the bipartisan infrastructure package is very popular among the American people and in the United States Congress because it makes sense. We need it badly," he added.
Portman then knocked Pelosi for potentially "blocking" the passage of the bipartisan deal.
“It's been totally bipartisan from the start. It's the way we ought to be doing things here in Washington to get stuff done, and I can’t believe the Speaker of the House would be blocking it,” he added.
Pelosi on Sunday doubled down on her decision to delay a vote on the bipartisan deal until the Senate passes a larger infrastructure package through reconciliation.
“I won’t put it on the floor until we have ... the rest of the initiative,” she told Stephanopoulos in a separate interview.
“I'm enthusiastic about the fact that they will have a bipartisan bill. I hope that it will be soon. But yes, I stand by because the fact is, is that the president has said that he wants to have a bipartisan bill, and we all do. But that is not the limitation of the vision of the president. He wants to build back better,” Pelosi added, referring to the president's jobs and families plan.
Portman on Sunday also said infrastructure negotiators are “about 90 percent of the way there” when asked if there is a deal.
“We’re going to legislate the language with colleagues and with staff, and I feel good about getting that done this week,” Portman added.
He said the final issue outstanding is mass transit before pinning the blame on Democrats.
“We’re not getting much response from the Democrats on it,” Portman said.
“That's the one issue that’s outstanding, frankly, at this point," he added. "My hope is that we'll see progress on that yet today.”