Rob Portman Says Republicans Ought to Work With Biden on Infrastructure


If you took about the same number of years, about the same types of proposals that he wanted, he would want to spend about twice as much. First, I think it is obviously better for the Republicans and the country to have a proposal that focuses on the core infrastructure that is separate from anything that would happen in the reconciliation process.

Second, one way or another, the Democrats would be promoting reconciliation. The question was whether it would include infrastructure or not. I never thought that because we were doing the infrastructure bill, they wouldn’t push the reconciliation forward. Of course they’ll try. But it doesn’t mean that they will do whatever they want, because there are obviously a lot of Democrats who don’t want to go that far, like Senator Sanders or Spokesman Pelosi or Majority Leader Schumer.

We’ll see what happens, but our package is independent and the President has now made it clear that he will try to sign both bills.

It seemed that attempting bipartisan negotiations in good faith was almost a condition for some of these moderate Democrats to move forward with a broader reconciliation package. Why give the president this path and the ability to say he is keeping an election promise to make bipartisan deals? There are certainly some Republicans who would not make that choice.

I totally disagree with your premise. I just don’t agree. The Democrats will push for reconciliation and will try to do it anyway – we all know that. The question is whether what I think is fair is the most popular aspect of the American people, which is infrastructure, whether that’s pulled out and treated separately across parties.

A legitimate argument, of course, would be that if you remove this sweetener from the reconciliation package, the reconciliation is less likely to be at the level that Democrats are talking about.

But I don’t see any reason why the Republicans are against looking at infrastructure separately. That makes sense all over the world because we mostly support infrastructure. President Trump had a $ 2 trillion infrastructure package, as did every president in recent history, including Republicans.