Cornyn, Coons: Split of Infrastructure Bill Could Win Bipartisan Support Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, talks with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. on Aug. 5, 2020, to examine the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. (Carolyn Kaster / Pool/ AFP via Getty Images)
Sunday, 18 April 2021 02:11 PM
There may be a bipartisan fix for addressing America’s infrastructure woes.
In remarks on Fox News Sunday, Sens. John Cornyn, T-Texas, and Chris Coons, D-Del., said they’re working on legislation that would include splitting the nearly $2 trillion infrastructure package.
Cornyn agreed the focus should first be on “core infrastructure” — and that other squabbles over proposals for climate change and human services should be separate.
“I think that if we come together in a bipartisan way to pass that $800 billion hard infrastructure bill… that I’ve been urging, then we show our people that we can solve their problems,” Coons said, adding the only disagreement is “how to pay for it.”
Cornyn called Coons "half right."
“There is a core infrastructure bill that we could pass with appropriate pay-fors, like roads and bridges and even reaching out to broadband, which we’ve — this pandemic has exposed a great digital divide in this country. … I think we could all agree to that,” Cornyn said.
“But I think that’s the part we would agree on. So let’s do it and leave the rest for another day and another fight,” he urged.
Cornyn said though it was encouraging that President Joe Biden stressed healing divisions in his inauguration speech, “we’re not off to a great start,” with the president’s “30 executive orders and a partisan $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that only 10% of which was actually COVID-19 relief.”
He and Coons are also working on bipartisan legislation on gun background checks and to expand AmeriCorps.
“The truth is, it’s very hard to get anything done in the Senate unless it is bipartisan. There are some exceptions to the rule. But in a 50/50 Senate, neither party has a mandate and so we simply have to work together to make progress where we can,” Cornyn said.
Coons sounded a call for bipartisanship to send a clear message to China.
“The worst thing that could happen to [China President] Xi Jinping, that would ruin his day, would be for him to see Republicans and Democrats working together in the Senate and the House to solve the problems facing the American people, in partnership with President Biden,” he said.