Republican Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Key Biden ally OK with dropping transit from infrastructure package Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE (Ohio), the lead GOP negotiator on infrastructure, said on Sunday that he is “not happy” about Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk ‘irreparable harm’ MORE’s (D-Calif.) plan to delay a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal until a larger reconciliation package is passed.
“The infrastructure bill has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza that she’s talking about … . So no, I’m not happy with what she said because it’s inconsistent with the agreement that we have on a bipartisan basis,” Portman told host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSullivan: Comments by North Korea’s Kim an ‘interesting signal’ Facebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform ‘justified’ Commerce secretary on cyberattacks against corporations: ‘This is the reality’ MORE on ABC’s “This Week.”
When pressed on if that means Congress may not end up passing an infrastructure package, Portman said, “Well, if she has her way, we could. I’m not sure what the future is on reconciliation.”
“I know that the bipartisan infrastructure package is very popular among the American people and in the United States Congress because it makes sense. We need it badly,” he added.
Portman then knocked Pelosi for potentially “blocking” the passage of the bipartisan deal.
“It’s been totally bipartisan from the state. It’s the way we ought to be doing things here in Washington to get stuff done and I can’t believe the Speaker of the House would be blocking it,” he added.
Pelosi on Sunday doubled down on her decision to delay a vote on the bipartisan deal until the Senate passes a larger infrastructure package through reconciliation.
“I won’t put it on the floor until we have… the rest of the initiative,” she told Stephanopoulos in a separate interview.
“I’m enthusiastic about the fact that they will have a bipartisan bill. I hope that it will be soon. But yes, I stand by, because the fact is, is that the president has said that he wants to have a bipartisan bill, and we all do. But that is not the limitation of the vision of the president. He wants to Build Back Better,” Pelosi added, referring to the president’s jobs and families plan.
Portman on Sunday also said infrastructure negotiators are “about 90 percent of the way there,” when asked if there is a deal.
“We’re going to legislate the language with colleagues and with staff, and I feel good about getting that done this week,” Portman added.
He said the final issue outstanding is mass transit before pinning the blame on Democrats.
“We’re not getting much response from the Democrats on it,” Portman said.
“That’s the one issue that’s outstanding frankly at this point,” he added. “My hope is that we’ll see progress on that yet today,” he added.