2021 government shutdown and congressional negotiations: updates and live news
Republican House leaders are launching an all-out campaign to defeat a bipartisan infrastructure bill, as Democratic leaders struggle to unite their caucus around the legislation ahead of a high-stakes vote on Thursday.
While the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package contains popular items widely supported by both sides – and has won the support of 19 Republicans in the Senate – GOP leaders in the House want to make sure Republicans will not be the reason why Bill crosses the finish line, and began to increase the pressure on their members.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise both made personal calls to members and spoke to members on the ground, according to GOP sources. And while Republican leaders do not threaten members who support the bill, they are forceful with their arguments, these sources said.
“Our argument is that infrastructure is a gateway drug to reconciliation,” said a source close to Operation Whip.
The source expects between a dozen and 20 House Republicans to vote ‘yes’ on the legislation, but said that would not be enough to make up for the massive defections progressives threaten if the bill is introduced. without agreement on legislation to extend the social safety net through reconciliation.
“There won’t be enough Republicans to wear this if there is widespread opposition,” the person said.
A Republican member said the flogging operation was “quite intense”. Another Republican described the effort as an “8 out of 10”. And a Third House Republican said “we’re very serious about this.”
While GOP leaders have acknowledged that there will be Republicans crossing party lines, Scalise said at a press conference earlier this week that they will “work to keep that number as low as possible.” .
The rush to limit GOP defections underscores how high the stakes are for both sides. President Biden’s national agenda is on the verge of imploding as Democratic leaders struggle to unite warring factions within their party. And Republicans – well aware that infrastructure transition and reconciliation may be Democrats’ best hope for retaining their majority next year – are eager to keep the spotlight on disarray across the aisle.
CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Ryan Nobles contributed to the reporting of this post.