17 Republican Senators Line Up to Get Screwed on Infrastructure Deal

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

For the last month or so I’ve written several articles chronicling the ridiculous path chosen by a group of Republicans to negotiate a bipartisan infrastructure deal. Throughout that time we’ve seen Joe Biden blow the deal up multiple times, Nancy Pelosi promise to not pass it, and Senate Democrats announce they are going to get everything they originally negotiated away via a reconciliation package (see “Republicans Have Another Chance to Not Be the Stupid Party, but Will They Take It?“)

Now, I’m no political genius, but when someone “makes a deal” with you and then pointedly tells you that they are going to double-cross you, that’s a good sign to probably walk away. Republicans have had several opportunities to do just that.

Have they done so? No, of course not. Instead, 17 Republicans lined up tonight to get screwed, announcing and then voting to advance an infrastructure deal made with Joe Biden.

This doesn’t even make sense. Not only is there no actual bill on paper yet, meaning these Republicans don’t even really know what they are voting to advance aside from some promises floating in the air, but it’s been only a few days since Democrats publicly proclaimed that they weren’t going to pass the deal without getting their $3.5 trillion reconciliation boondoggle.

What are Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Richard Burr, and the rest of these politically deficient senators even hoping to accomplish here? If the deal goes through, and it looks like it will now, they then have no ability to stop the massive reconciliation bill from passing, at least not without convincing Democrats to do it for them. And while Kyrsten Sinema may draw a little blood in those negotiations, she’s still going to end up endorsing far more spending than Republicans want.

This is literally giving the farm away for no reason whatsoever. Joe Biden gets to claim a bipartisan accomplishment and hang the coming inflation around the necks of Republicans while still getting everything he negotiated away via reconciliation. And Republicans still said, “Yeah, that sounds like a great deal.” It’s political insanity. Biden has done nothing to deserve this kind of cooperation from the GOP, and Democrats spit in their faces under Trump in regards to infrastructure. But now they are rushing to blow out the spending on a bill that Biden will take credit for?

The only way this is makes any sense if is there’s some backroom deal to kill the reconciliation deal with Sinema and Joe Manchin. I suppose that’s possible, but it’s unlikely. Manchin has already signaled support for reconciliation, voicing only a few qualms with some of the climate change provisions. It’s hard to imagine him being a bulwark in the end.

Republicans better have a good explanation for this, and somehow, I doubt they do. This kind of stuff is exactly what caused the base to revolt in 2016. That the establishment would walk right back into the same minefield is unbelievable. Actually, maybe it’s completely believable.