Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday iterated his party’s demands for Congress when it comes to reaching a "bipartisan consensus" on the government’s spending.
"When it comes to floor consideration, we cannot and will not start planting individual trees before we have bipartisan consensus on the shape of the forest," McConnell said on the Senate floor on Wednesday, according to The Hill.
He noted that Republicans want to ensure that defense spending rises in equal measure to nondefense spending in addition to the two parties agreeing to avoid "poison pill" provisions that will almost guarantee to sink the bill.
The senator previously threatened to block the bipartisan infrastructure bill if Democrats move quickly to end the debate on amendments.
"This is an extremely important bipartisan bill," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. "There's an excellent chance it will be a bipartisan success story for the country, and to try to truncate an amendment process on something of this magnitude, I think it's a mistake."
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., added: "I understand that the rush to get this done is so that Sen. Schumer and the Democrats can then move to that $3.5 trillion tax-and-spending spree that they want to get on immediately after the bipartisan bill."
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said on Wednesday that McConnell was engaging in "revisionist history," and noted that he’s made attempts to begin negotiations with leading members of the GOP about the overall amount to be spent.
"I am not going to put forward an allocation at this time. I believe that would only divide the Committee, and delay our typically bipartisan work," Leahy said. "I have been urging for months that we begin bipartisan, bicameral negotiations with the White House on spending top-lines, and I continue to believe that is the right way to proceed."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.