President Joe Biden faces continuing resistance from Senate Democrats over his infrastructure, despite only needing 50 Senate Democrats to pass his gargantuan legislation.
Biden faces two options to pass an infrastructure bill by either passing a more moderate version with a bipartisan group of Senate Republicans and Democrats that could survive the 60-vote filibuster, or he could pass the legislation with only 50 votes using budgetary reconciliation.
If Biden fails to gain the support of ten Senate Republicans to pass the bill through the Senate, he will have to use reconciliation, although many Senate Democrats have balked at his mammoth proposal for its high price tag or its potential lack of climate change provisions.
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) said, “An infrastructure package that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said the reconciliation bill should include Biden’s American Jobs and American Families Plan. However, the cost of both bills would nearly reach $4 trillion. This might endanger the support from more moderate-leaning Democrats.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) told Axios that he remains unsure about how much spending he could support.
“There’s definitely room for negotiation,” the Montana Democrat said.
“I think it’s high,” Sen. Angus King (I-ME) said. “But I’m not prepared to say where I want to change it.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said, “The price tag is very negotiable. We’ll see what we do bipartisan and then we can adjust the price.”
Other Democrats want to ensure that they could include many climate change provisions in the legislation.
“Just a gentle, friendly reminder that the executive branch doesn’t write the bills,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) wrote after Biden climate adviser Gina McCarthy said that climate change proposals might not make in the bill.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, “I’m now officially very anxious about climate legislation.”
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview this week that the “cracks” in the Democrats’ unity continue to prevent Biden from enacting his legislative agenda.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) said given the 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats must craft a bill that would engender the support of all 50 Senate Democrats, ranging from progressives to moderates.
“Some of my colleagues may not be as excited, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Coons said.