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One of a handful of Republican senators who joined bipartisan negotiations with the White House defended his role in the talks, telling “The Ingraham Angle” that forging a smaller deal on infrastructure makes it less likely Democrats can pass their $3.5 trillion spending bill.
Cassidy’s bipartisan negotiating group includes Senators Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Robert Portman of Ohio and Susan Collins of Maine on the Republican side.
Host Laura Ingraham took issue with Sen. Bill Cassidy’s, R-La., assertion that making a deal on the smaller more traditional infrastructure bill will help fend off the passage of the monstrous spending bill thereafter – pointing out how President Biden himself had said there would be no deal on the former without the latter; a sentiment echoed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic leadership.
She agreed with the Louisianan that there is a need for physical infrastructure funding, but reiterated concerns from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and others, who said it is ill-timed to the already painful “pinch of inflation” – and other critics who said the negotiations make Republicans look like “Charlie Brown with Lucy (the Democrats) holding the football.”
“The White House is, as I said, quite giddy about this. Reuters describes this as a glide path to the $3.5 trillion tonight and they write this up senator, your response,” she asked.
Cassidy replied that the smaller bill will help Louisianans stuck in traffic on antiquated highways, and assuage fears of their homes flooding, and assist those who want better jobs; especially in the infrastructure sector.
“I talked to Fox News watchers. They love this bill…. Actually for the wealthy this means less [for them] because they have chauffeurs, they have private jets, they can fly here-and-there if it floods, but it’s the people who live in their homes at risk of flooding: as regard to $3.5 trillion – Pelosi wants to link the two, she doesn’t think she has the votes for that $3.5 trillion,” he continued, before Ingraham interjected:
“Senator are you on this show tonight saying Nancy Pelosi hasn’t gamed out her votes?”
Cassidy replied that Pelosi has been shown to be fallible, pointing to Democrats’ failure to renew the eviction moratorium that top White House official Eugene Sperling said Monday the administration is trying to find a solution to in the interim.
“Republicans who are trying to sink this bill are trying to help Nancy Pelosi,” Cassidy claimed.
The lawmaker, who is also a medical doctor, reiterated that he disagrees with Ingraham’s and other critics’ characterization of the smaller bill as a direct factor in the passage of the larger bill, saying that “The Squad … and Bernie [Sanders] knows it.”
“They are the ones objecting to this bill because they think it [makes it] less likely to pass $3.5 trillion behemoth [second bill].”
In response, Ingraham asked why Republicans didn’t act as Pelosi did and demand Democrats “show their hand first – and see the full text … of the reconciliation bill,” which she noted overhauls the government’s handling of climate change and other large endeavors.
“Amnesty, tax increases, all the nightmares that we delineated tonight – let them show their hand – but that got flipped, didn’t it, and you guys got played on this and you had to vote first or agree first. They still haven’t shown the text of their [reconciliation] legislation, have they sir?”
Cassidy replied that Ingraham is agreeing with Sanders and the far-left “Squad”.
“It is amazing, you agree with Pelosi,” he added.
Ingraham denied the allegation, pointing again to Wall Street Journal and National Review analyses that show the economic and political repercussions of letting the bills get through.
“You made it easy for them: Make them show their text first. You realize that America will be changed forever?” she replied.