Senate Republicans Break From Donald Trump On Trillion Dollar Pre-Election Infrastructure Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (3rd L) joins Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including (L-R) Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), to discuss this week’s FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol .
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President Donald Trump has received resistance from his own party members in the face of a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill, due to the longterm impact it will have on the national deficit, according to The Hill.

The president’s election-year push for a bill that would infuse the economy with hundreds of billions of dollars comes as he is seeking to run on his record of a strong economy, despite the COVID-19 impact.

Republican senators have come out against the bill, however, saying that the proposal is too “rich” and would likely be a “heavy lift” in Congress, according to The Hill. The GOP congressmen cited differences between House and Senate leadership as one of the likely uphill battles that such a proposal would have to contend with.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned the administration about what could be coming down the line for future generations if the federal deficit isn’t slowed. McConnell pulled away from another coronavirus relief bill for the same reason and claimed there just wasn’t available funding for it.

The senate leader does have some interest in spending money on infrastructure, according to GOP senators. McConnell is reportedly firmly behind a five-year reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund estimated with a price tag of $287 billion, just over one-quarter of the $1 trillion proposed by the president.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, also indicated that Senate republicans might not be interested in signing off on such a large bill in the current economic climate. According to Grassley members of his panel still lack a plan for how to pay more than $93 billion of the proposed plan’s price tag.

When asked about the president’s impending $1 trillion infrastructure spending proposal, Grassley said that what the Senate actually approves “could be a lot less” but at least “won’t be over that.”

GOP Senator and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming — who is a senior member of the Finance committee — said that he believes his party should be helping the economy by going after the coronavirus impact directly. Enzi said that a large chunk of the $2.2 CARES Act hasn’t yet been spent. Additionally, $484 billion of the interim coronavirus relief legislation which was passed in April hasn’t been utilized to date.

“Nothing we’re doing right now is fiscally responsible,” Enzi said.

“I’m much more inclined to stick to solving the virus problem.”

Fiscal issues aren’t the only ones plaguing Republicans who are expected to support the president, however. Just days ago, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine promised to work to overturn Trump’s reversal of LGBT patients’ protections in the Affordable Care Act.