McConnell Throws Cold Water On Infrastructure Plan, Corporate Backlash In Georgia

Apr 5, 2021

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says there is interest in passing infrastructure-related legislation on his side of the aisle, but his party is lining up against President Biden's ambitious $2 trillion plan to rebuild.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens to a reporter's question during a press conference at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Lexington, Ky., Monday, April 5, 2021.
Credit AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

It's shaping up to be a bruising round two in the fight over new massive spending plans favored by the Democratic administration. After maintaining solid, party line GOP opposition to the recent $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, McConnell told reporters in Kentucky not to count on much or any GOP support for the Biden "Rebuild America" initiative.

"If that's the package, a bunch of more borrowed money plus undoing the tax relief that drove our economy to a 50-year high, I can't imagine that's going to be very appealing to many Republicans," the senator predicted.

That assessment could change, the minority leader said, if Democrats offer a scaled back version.

"Infrastructure is, however, appealing and if we can figure a way to do a paid for, arguably more modest approach, I'd be open to it. But not what I think they're peddling," McConnell added.

The bill is likely to evolve in the coming months as Democrats look to win over vital votes from moderate lawmakers on their own side, such as West Virginia's Joe Manchin, who has said he does not support the infrastructure package in its current form.

While McConnell sounds ready to invite more private sector involvement in the infrastructure plan, he's less enthusiastic about corporations throwing their weight into the voting rights debate.

The CEOs of Coca-Cola, Delta, and Merck are among the major corporate players who have been outspoken in their opposition to voter reforms in Georgia, according to The Hill. That's not to mention Major League Baseball, which is pulling the 2021 All-Star Game and MLB draft out of the state in response to the controversial reforms.

In doing so, McConnell says the companies will face consequences if they become a "vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack" the country.

"My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don't pick sides in these big fights," the GOP leader said.

McConnell also claims the companies are "amplifying disinformation" about the laws themselves, pointing to a Washington Post fact-check awarding four pinocchios to one of President Biden's statements about the law.

But a New York Times analysis found 16 provisions in the Georgia reforms it says will limit voting access and give Republicans an upper hand in elections.