House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday said Democrats are open to splitting President Biden‘s big-spending infrastructure plan into smaller pieces to get it across the finish line but that it is not the preferred option.
“It’s not off the table,” the Maryland Democrat told a Washington Post Live event. “Are we open to discussing ways and means to get that done? Of course we are.”
At the same time, Mr. Hoyer said Mr. Biden doesn’t want to leave a bunch of parts of the proposal on the cutting room floor as the White House seeks GOP buy-in, saying it is an integrated package. He also said a budget mechanism known as “reconciliation” remains an option for Democrats who might need to avoid a GOP filibuster and rely on their razor-thin majorities to pass the package.
Mr. Hoyer argued former President Donald Trump backed a $2 trillion infrastructure package last year, even if the ex-president failed to draw in the lines, so it isn’t wild to ask the GOP to back Mr. Biden‘s push a $2.3 trillion investment in infrastructure.
Mr. Biden is hitting the road to promote his plan and a $1.8 trillion “families” plan, though Republicans have balked at the price tag. They say it is loaded down with a liberal wish list and should be pared down.
“They have a more limited view of what infrastructure is,” Mr. Hoyer said.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, introduced a plan — America’s Infrastructure Modernization Act (AIM) — late Tuesday to fund what she considers to be “real” infrastructure.
“President Biden calls everything under the sun infrastructure, but only 6% of his $2.3 trillion so-called infrastructure plan goes to roads and bridges,” she said. “The rest goes to climate change, increasing government bureaucracy, and unrelated liberal wish-list items. I introduced the AIM Act to offer a targeted, efficient infrastructure plan that works for America.”