WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden would be willing to push through his $2 trillion infrastructure plan without the support of Republican lawmakers if he cannot reach a bipartisan deal, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Sunday.
Granholm said Biden would prefer that his plan have Republican backing but, if that does not work, he would likely support using a procedural strategy called reconciliation to allow Democrats to pass it in the Senate.
“As he has said, he was sent to the presidency to do a job for America. And if the vast majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, across the country support spending on our country and not allowing us to lose the race globally, then he’s going to do that,” Granholm said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Most Americans currently support the Democratic president’s plan, said Granholm, one of several senior Biden administration officials who promoted the proposal on television news shows on Sunday.
Since taking office in January, the Democratic president has repeatedly said he wants to work with Republicans.
But the infrastructure plan – his second major legislative initiative – so far looks unlikely to draw more bipartisan support than his first, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that passed with only Democratic support last month, using reconciliation.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said last week that Biden’s infrastructure plan was “bold and audacious” but would raise taxes and increase debt. He vowed to fight it “every step of the way.”