Yesterday, President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators came to an agreement on a deal to invest hundreds of billions in infrastructure. He also re-committed to his long-stated plan of simultaneously pursuing the rest of the Build Back Better agenda through a reconciliation package.

Now, some Republicans are expressing outrage and pretending to be caught off guard at the president’s plan, despite the fact that Republicans have acknowledged the likelihood of a two-track strategy for months — and some have even encouraged the president to pursue parts of his agenda through reconciliation: 

  • Sen. Roy Blunt: “My advice to the White House has been, take that bipartisan win, do this in a more traditional infrastructure way and then if you want to force the rest of the package on Republicans in the Congress and the country, you can certainly do that,” [New York Times, 4/8/21]

  • Sens. Capito, Barasso, Blunt, Crapo, Toomey, and Wicker in a memo to President Biden during the first round of negotiations:

    • “As a group, we were explicit that policies unrelated to physical infrastructure do not fit in this package. This is not because we do not value these important issues. We simply believe that these policies should be addressed in separate legislation.” [Politico, 5/27/21]

  • Sen. Rob Portman: “I’m not suggesting Democrats aren’t going to try by reconciliation to do the big tax increases and big spending they’d like to do outside of this, I’m sure they will. But in the meantime, let’s go ahead and get this done.” [CNBC, 6/15/21]

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “We are anticipating, at some point, getting a reconciliation bill.” [NBC, 6/18/21]