Jun 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senators welcome Biden's infrastructure walk-back

Sen. Rob Portman.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) appears on ABC's "This Week" on June 27.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said they were relieved by President Biden's statement on Saturday, walking back his implied veto threat of the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

Why it matters: The passage of the $1.2 trillion agreement seemed to be in jeopardy after Biden made several remarks on Thursday suggesting an ultimatum.

  • In a lengthy statement on Saturday afternoon, Biden clarified: "My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent."
  • Portman said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he and other senators were "blindsided" by Biden's earlier remarks.

Of note: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Sunday said that he expects Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will support the compromise.

  • “If we can pull this off, I think Mitch will favor it,” Cassidy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

What they're saying: "This is the largest infrastructure package in the history of the United States of America," Manchin said on "This Week."

  • "There has never been a doubt in my mind that [Biden] is anxious for this bill to pass and for him to sign it, and I look forward to being there when he does," he continued.
  • Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said the president should not be limited by Senate Republicans "particularly when we have a House majority, we have 50 Democratic senators, and we have the White House."
  • She and other Democrats want the infrastructure deal to also tackle things like climate change.
  • Cedric Richmond, senior adviser to the president, said on "Face the Nation" he believes they will "see overwhelming Democratic support" for a deal.

Go deeper: Biden walks back implied veto threat on infrastructure deal

This story has been updated.

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