Sen. Portman: blindsided by Biden comments linking infrastructure and reconciliation bills
UPDATED 1:12 PM PT – Sunday, June 27, 2021
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he was relieved to hear Joe Biden walked back recent comments regarding the bipartisan infrastructure bill. In an interview on Sunday, the Ohio lawmaker said he was “blindsided” by Biden’s comments that the infrastructure bill was somehow linked to the Democrat-led reconciliation package.
Portman noted that there had never been discussions over the last four months linking the bills and said he was pleased lawmakers could now move forward with the broadly popular bill. The Republican senator went on to insist a bipartisan infrastructure agreement would result in a more efficient and productive economy.
Linking core infrastructure with the Democrats’ trillion dollar spending bill was never discussed during our negotiations.
I am glad @POTUS clarified his comments on Thursday and look forward to working to advance this bipartisan infrastructure agreement.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) June 27, 2021
“It’s something that we need to do to be able to compete with China and our other global competitors and to frankly do something that presidents through the ages have talked about,” he explained. “I remember when Donald Trump talked about it, the need for a $2 trillion infrastructure bill.”‘
GOP lawmakers reported discussions regarding the bipartisan infrastructure deal have resumed since Biden clarified his comments. The proposal consists of an estimated $1 trillion, which would be spent on physical infrastructure such as transportation systems, water systems and broadband.
On the subject of President Trump, Portman said the 45th president is definitely the leader of the Republican party. He added Trump has high popularity among the GOP base pointing to Saturday night’s rally attendance.