McConnell rules out GOP support for Biden spending plan

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Mitch McConnell on Thursday ruled out support from his Republicans for President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure plan, all but ensuring that the proposal will have to pass with lockstep Democratic unity in the Senate.

At an event in Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader pilloried the $2.5 trillion infrastructure proposal as exacerbating the debt and raising taxes. McConnell said the bill would not get a single Senate GOP vote, despite the White House’s bipartisan outreach.

“That package that they’re putting together now, as much as we would like to address infrastructure, is not going to get support from our side. Because I think the last thing the economy needs right now is a big, whopping tax increase,” McConnell told reporters.

Senate Democrats are already signaling they may set up the infrastructure bill to pass along party lines via budget reconciliation, a process that allows certain legislation to pass with a simple majority but comes with strict restrictions on what can be included. Already Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer helped Biden push a $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending bill through the 50-50 Senate via the blunt legislative maneuver, with not a single Republican supporting it.

Biden’s blend of tax changes and infrastructure spending, to be followed by a health care-focused component, is likely to meet the same fate. McConnell said the White House’s new proposal and the GOP reaction to it “underscores the principle difference between the two parties.”

“You’re either alarmed about the level of national debt and the future impact of that on our children and our grandchildren or you aren’t,” he said. “My view of infrastructure is we ought to build that which we can afford, and not either whack the economy with major tax increases or run up the national debt even more.”

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