Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal
By Alexander Bolton - 06/11/21 06:00 AM EDT
Progressive Democrats are wary of an emerging deal on infrastructure being negotiated by five Republican and five Democratic senators, fearing it could make it tougher to get prized priorities to President Biden’s desk.
The progressives are specifically worried that passing a bipartisan infrastructure package consisting of the most popular infrastructure spending priorities — such as funding for roads, bridges, rail, public transport, airports and rural broadband internet — will make it tougher to marshal support for a bigger reconciliation package down the road.
That bigger package could include many progressive prizes, such as climate change legislation, $400 billion for long-term home care, and language to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) fired a shot at the emerging deal Thursday afternoon, declaring it falls far short of what the nation needs.
“The problem is this country faces enormous issues that have been ignored and neglected for a very long period of time,” he said. “Even if you look at infrastructure from the narrow perspective of roads and bridges, it’s inadequate. That’s not me talking, that’s the American Society of Civil Engineers.”