Chamber of Commerce Presses House GOP to Back Infrastructure Bill Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee On Foreign Affairs March 10, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 23 September 2021 12:07 PM
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing Republicans in the House to save President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, according to The Washington Times.
The newspaper obtained a list of 57 House Republicans the chamber is targeting in its effort to gain support for the bill in light of rising opposition from some Democrats in the 98-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Nearly half of the progressive caucus is planning to oppose the bill until the Senate approves Biden’s companion $3.5 trillion spending program.
The Times noted that the business lobby has long supported additional government spending on roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure detailed in the $1.2 trillion package.
The chamber is pressing Republican conservatives such as Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and centrists Republicans like Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, the newspaper reported.
Chamber officials have divided the targeted Republicans into three different groups as it presses for support for the proposed legislation.
The first group consists of 11 Republicans who have already committed to voting for the bill.
Group two is made up of 24 lawmakers who have confided to the chamber they view the bill favorably but have not publicly supported it.
The third group is made up of 22 Republicans "further away from a yes (vote) but still worth trying to flip."
The Times said the chamber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"I think this is the pivotal week and I don't think anybody knows where this is going," he said. Between the progressives and moderates on the Democrat side, they had worked out a deal on this vote for the infrastructure package, but now the $3.5 trillion reconciliation deal has sort of fallen apart."
And he added: "Progressives on one side are saying now they're not going to vote for the package and moderates on the other side don't have the votes either, and Republicans were simply not going to help them spend money that we don't have."