Tags: Biden Administration | Money | ben cardin | infrastructure | hot mic | comment | budget

Sen. Ben Cardin on Hot Mic: Infrastructure 'Likely' Done by Reconciliation

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Monday, 15 March 2021 07:19 PM

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., was caught on a hot mic Monday telling Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg his party will "most likely have to use" the partisan procedural process of reconciliation to get an infrastructure bill through Congress.

Cardin's conversation was overheard on C-SPAN after the Maryland senator toured a UPS facility in his home state that is assisting in COVID-19 vaccine delivery. Cardin, with Buttigieg and fellow Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., discussed the prospect of an infrastructure bill with the secretary in a conversation that the trio appeared to not realize was being broadcast on C-SPAN.

"Ultimately, it's going to be put together similar" to the recent COVID-19 relief package, Cardin said, meaning several committees would separately draw-up legislation that would be linked together later, and the party would "most likely have to use reconciliation," because Republicans will only "meet with you to a point."

Buttigieg replied he is "pretty process-agnostic," noting, "We just want it to work, and get through." He said he was "all ears" when it comes to the legislation.

"We've got a clock on everything we're doing, especially because the present surface reauthorization is up in September," Buttigieg told reporters during the event, according to Politico. "We're not waiting until September in order to act. Conversations are taking place right now as you've seen, Oval Office meetings with the president, leaders from both parties and both Houses."

He would "let the president lead on the legislative priorities and sequencing but," he said, "these conversations are very much live."

Far from signaling a reconciliation resolution, President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of House legislators earlier this month to discuss infrastructure. At the meeting, Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure panel, said the next bill "cannot be a 'my way or the highway' approach like last Congress," in a reference to the Democratic legislation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pushed.

"First and foremost, a highway bill cannot grow into a multitrillion-dollar catch-all bill, or it will lose Republican support," he said. "We have to be responsible, and a bill whose cost is not offset will lose Republican support." 

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told "Axios on HBO" in a recent interview, the next spending bill needs bipartisan cooperation.

"I'm not going to do it through reconciliation," Manchin said. "I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them [Republicans] out completely before we start trying."

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Politics
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., was caught on a hot mic Monday telling Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg his party will "most likely have to use" the partisan procedural process of reconciliation to get an infrastructure bill through Congress.
ben cardin, infrastructure, hot mic, comment, budget, reconciliation
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2021-19-15
Monday, 15 March 2021 07:19 PM
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