House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said he believes members of his caucus will vote against President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal.
“I think the majority, an overwhelming amount of our members, are going to vote no, because they don’t view it as an infrastructure bill,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said at his weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
“I went to the White House, in the Oval Office, that’s exactly what I told the president. We want to build roads, highways, bridges, broadband, airports. We want to reform NEPA. We want to make sure this happens and gets built in less than a decade. And we want to be able to make sure America is competitive,” he said, referring to the National Environmental Policy Act.
McCarthy said Democrats, including the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, linked the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package with the $3.5 trillion spending bill.
“That’s not something we want, that’s not something we can afford, that’s not something we support,” he said.
He accused Pelosi of flip-flopping on the two bills.
“If she wanted to have an infrastructure bill, if the president wanted to have an infrastructure bill, he should have said it shouldn’t become one bill. He should have focused just on infrastructure,” McCarthy said.
“But what they want to do is restructure and transform America. You just sat through her press conference. This is a culmination of her life’s work in public policy. So it’s not an infrastructure bill, it is one bill, and members see it that way,” he continued.
Pelosi, at her weekly briefing just before McCarthy’s, said she plans to have a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday even though progressives say they won’t support it unless the Senate first takes up the massive spending bill.
Asked if she would postpone the vote, Pelosi said, “I do not plan on not doing anything.”
“I plan on moving forward in a positive direction,” she added.
Members of the House progressive caucus have said they have the votes to kill the $1.2 trillion bill.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they oppose the spending bill because of its cost, jeopardizing both measures.