Republican Senate negotiators on an infrastructure deal on Sunday welcomed the withdrawal of US President Joe Biden from threatening to veto a $ 1.2 trillion bilateral bill unless a separate Democratic spending plan is passed.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said he and his associates were “blind” to Biden’s comments Thursday after he and senators announced a rare bilateral compromise in one measure to fix the nation’s roads, bridges and ports. .
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“I was very happy to see the president clarify his remarks, because it was incompatible with everything we were told throughout,” Portman told ABC.
Shortly after the announcement of the bilateral agreement on Thursday, Biden appeared to be jeopardizing it by commenting that the infrastructure bill should move “parallel” to a larger bill that includes a number of democratic priorities that he hopes to pass according to the parties.
“If this is the only thing that comes to me, I do not sign it,” he said.
The comments put internal pressure on the 11 Republicans in the group of 21 senators who approved the infrastructure package to abandon the deal.
Biden issued a statement Saturday that effectively withdrew the threat, saying “it was definitely not my intention.”
“We are glad to see them disconnect and now we can move on,” Portman said Sunday.
Senators Mitt Romney, another Republican who participated in the bilateral talks, said he was “absolutely confident” Biden would sign the bilateral bill if he arrived at his office without a separate spending plan for Democrats.
“I take the president for granted,” Romney told CNN.
Senator Bill Cassidy said he hoped lawmakers could move beyond the controversy sparked by Biden’s comments Thursday.
White House Adviser Cedric Richmond, however, would not say whether Biden would sign bilateral infrastructure and job legislation, even if he does not have a larger spending bill.
Richmond said in several television appearances Sunday that Democrats expect to hand over both bills to the president’s office.
“We do not need to talk about conditions,” Richmond told Fox News Sunday.