During the presidency of Donald Trump, the term “infrastructure week” became a punchline. Trump made big promises on infrastructure, but his plans were mostly to enrich his friends by privatizing infrastructure. The man who could help him do that however, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, wasn’t interested. As long as a Republican was in the White House, McConnell was interested in only two things: getting conservative judges rushed through confirmation and cutting taxes for the wealthy.
Even before the final vote, Trump targeted McConnell in a statement, dubbing him “the most overrated man in politics.” https://t.co/mFl75EOkjb
— Lexington Herald-Leader (@heraldleader) August 10, 2021
President Joe Biden, however, doesn’t have that same problem. Working with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in the Senate, Biden saw an infrastructure package passed just six months into his presidency, and McConnell was one of the “aye” votes that passed it.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader:
‘Despite repeated calls by Trump to oppose the bipartisan infrastructure package, McConnell largely ignored — and ultimately defied — the former president by voting for final passage on Tuesday and delivering 18 other Republicans with him.
‘The final vote for $550 billion in new spending for roads, bridges, waterways, airports and broadband internet was 69-30. It is a rarity in Washington — a genuinely significant bipartisan achievement for both parties and President Joe Biden, who anchored his run for the White House on his ability to bring people together.’
Biden bodies Trump: "After years and years of infrastructure week, we're on the cusp of an infrastructure decade that I truly believe will transform America." pic.twitter.com/1UG1Z7DnDh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 10, 2021
Donald Trump spent his week lashing out about the bill. The man who wanted to borrow billions from FEMA to pay for a vanity border wall criticized the spending by Democrats and said he’d withhold endorsements for any Republican politician who voted for Biden’s infrastructure plan. 19 did so anyway, indicating that Trump’s hold over the GOP may be waning. Trump issued a furious statement in response.
Newsweek reported Trump’s statement as saying that:
‘Nobody will ever understand why Mitch McConnell allowed this non-infrastructure bill to be passed. He has given up all of his leverage for the big whopper of a bill that will follow. I have quietly said for years that Mitch McConnell is the most overrated man in politics—now I don’t have to be quiet anymore. He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country.’
A fuming Trump responded to the defections by blasting out a series of lengthy statements slamming the bill as a RINO-backed “disgrace,” insulting the intelligence of Mitch McConnell and threatening to withhold endorsements for lawmakers who voted for it https://t.co/FAeY9INXmT
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 11, 2021
Trump made no mention of when he might have ever been quiet or what that looked like at the time.
Meanwhile, McConnell is still letting everyone know that he thinks Democrats are Communists who will bankrupt the country despite his vote on infrastructure. Biden’s moderate stance on most everything makes that claim rather foolish, but McConnell hasn’t stopped saying it as future plans for infrastructure are discussed as budget reconciliation, regardless.
‘What our colleagues are proposing and planning is absolutely jaw-dropping. People want to pretend this is just business as usual. Just liberals doing liberal things using Senate procedure. Make no mistake. This reckless taxing and spending spree is like nothing we’ve seen.’
McConnell from Senate floor on Democrats' $3.5T budget resolution and the debt limit: "Our friends across the aisle should not expect traditional bipartisan borrowing to finance their nontraditional reckless taxing and spending spree. That’s not how this works." pic.twitter.com/sM8XhiUp55
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) August 9, 2021