Trump: GOP Should Use Debt Ceiling to Negotiate Better Infrastructure Bill

Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that Republicans in Congress should use the upcoming debt ceiling vote as leverage to negotiate a better infrastructure package, calling the present bipartisan $1.2 trillion plan “a disgrace.”

“President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is a disgrace,” Trump wrote in a statement Saturday morning from his Save America PAC. “If [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, R-K.y., was smart, which we’ve seen no evidence of, he would use the debt ceiling card to negotiate a good infrastructure package.”

Both Republican and Democrat administrations have used the vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling as leverage for various political purposes, because a failing vote could lead to a government shutdown.

The current $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill being finalized for an upcoming vote in the Senate has 11 Republicans supporting the plan, one more than needed to block a filibuster.

The 2,700-page bill would address repairing and replacing aging “hard infrastructure” such as roads, tunnels, bridges, air, and seaports, according to the White House.

Trump said he is critical of the bill because of its size and scope, which is much bigger than its stated goals.

“This is a 2,700-page bill that no one could have possibly read — they would have needed to take speed reading courses,” Trump wrote. “It is a gift to the Democrat Party, compliments of Mitch McConnell and some RINOs, who have no idea what they are doing.

“There is very little on infrastructure in all of those pages. Instead, they track your driving so they can tax you. It is Joe Biden’s form of a gas tax but far bigger, far higher and, mark my words, far worse. They want to track you everywhere you go and watch everything you do!”

He said the Democrats will use the bill’s successful passage against the GOP in the 2022 midterm election, and he would not be inclined to back Republicans that support it.

“It will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal,” he said.

The bipartisan deal, however, is not the only Democrat agenda legislation percolating at the Capitol.

While the Democrats and Republican supporters work to put the finishing touches on that plan, another $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill is also making its way to the Senate and House.

That legislation, which is on a concurrent track, includes much of the spending that Republicans took out of the infrastructure bill, but can pass both houses with a simple majority vote, meaning Democrats can push the legislation through both houses without any Republican support.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she would not hold votes on either bill until both are in front of the House at the same time.

“The good news is that the progressive wing in the Democrat Party will lose all credibility with this approval,” Trump wrote. “Additionally, Kevin McCarthy and Republican House members seem to be against the [infrastructure] bill. If it cannot be killed in the Senate, maybe it dies in the House!”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said he wants both bills voted on in the Senate this month, and Biden said he is standing ready to sign both pieces of legislation.

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats understand that this is the way to get the horrendous $3.5 trillion, actually $5 trillion, Green New Deal bill done in the House,” Trump wrote. “Mitch is playing right into Nancy’s hands, not to mention the fact Chuck Schumer is already going around saying this is a big victory for the Democrats.

“Whether it is the House or the Senate, think twice before you approve this terrible deal. Republicans should wait until after the midterms when they will gain all the strength they’ll need to make a good deal, but remember, you already have the card, it’s called the debt ceiling, which the Democrats threatened us with constantly.”

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