MCCONNELL: "I appreciate the president saying that he's willing to deal with infrastructure separately. But he doesn't control the Congress."
U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Monday urged President Joe Biden to get the two top Democrats in Congress to abandon a plan to link a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal to a larger, separate package that Republicans reject.
MCCONNELL: "...to deal with them separately. That's the way the deal was negotiated according to the ten Republicans, I can assure you, who were in the discussion. There was no agreement that they would be linked. “
McConnell’s comment comes just two days after Biden withdrew a threat to veto the bipartisan bill unless it arrived at his desk with a companion reconciliation measure that focused on what he calls "human infrastructure," including help for home healthcare.
The move triggered outrage among Republicans.
Republicans earlier this year rejected Biden's call for a sweeping $2.3 trillion infrastructure package as too costly. After that, Democrats spent weeks publicly discussing plans to proceed with a two-step approach, which would couple a smaller bipartisan deal with a second package that could pass through the narrowly divided Senate with only Democratic votes.
It will take weeks before actual legislation on either the bipartisan bill or the reconciliation package makes it to the Senate floor for votes.
McConnell has not decided whether to support the bipartisan agreement, noting on Monday that it was not clear whether the proposal was "credibly paid for."