'Certainly not my intent': Biden walks back 'tandem' infrastructure bill remarks

After enraging Republicans and putting his own bipartisan deal in jeopardy, President Joe Biden issued a lengthy statement on Saturday to walk back comments linking an infrastructure deal to a Democrat-only plan.

© AP Photo/Susan Walsh President Joe Biden.

Biden infuriated Republican negotiators on Thursday after he said he would refuse to sign the infrastructure package until he was sent a Democrat-only spending package, which is expected to include a litany of items the GOP has long rejected.

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“That statement understandably upset some Republicans, who do not see the two plans as linked; they are hoping to defeat my Families Plan—and do not want their support for the infrastructure plan to be seen as aiding passage of the Families Plan,” Biden said in the statement. “My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent.”

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The statement went on to say, “So to be clear: our bipartisan agreement does not preclude Republicans from attempting to defeat my Families Plan; likewise, they should have no objections to my devoted efforts to pass that Families Plan and other proposals in tandem. We will let the American people—and the Congress—decide.”

The statement comes after Biden’s top aides spent Friday making calls to the Hill to enact damage control. On Tuesday, Biden will travel the country to, according to a White House official, highlight the economic benefits this agreement would deliver. That includes delivering remarks in Wisconsin.

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