He said this on Monday but it’s making the rounds today. The Pelosi family in particular seems excited about it!

This makes twice in the last few days that McConnell has used emphatic language to celebrate a bill that righty populists are seething over. Two days ago he described himself as being “delighted” by its passage. Why isn’t Cocaine Mitch keeping a low profile on his support for the legislation, knowing how unhappy the most activist elements in his base are about it?

I doubt there’s a single motive. To some degree, he may feel it’s an obligation of his status as minority leader. Eighteen other members of his caucus and 13 Republicans in the House braved a backlash from the right by voting yes. Maybe he feels compelled to be a lightning rod for them and to leverage his stature to lend them some support. More likely, as an old-school legislator, he simply believes what he’s saying when he claims that the new spending will improve infrastructure in Kentucky. McConnell got involved in politics in a bygone era where doing something tangible for one’s constituents was supposed to be the point of legislating, not owning the libs. He saw the bipartisan bill as an opportunity to repair roads and bridges in his state and maybe bring some jobs there in the process, so he took it.

There may be a strategic motive too. McConnell always keeps one eye on expanding the GOP’s majorities in Congress. He doubtless knew that some of the House Republicans who voted yes are in an uncomfortable spot electorally, needing to burnish their bipartisan credentials in their swing districts but at risk of pissing MAGA off. “[Fifteen] minutes into the Friday night roll call, five Republicans had already voted yes before even a single Democrat had voted no, making it clear the legislation would pass without much Democratic drama,” WaPo noted. “All five — Reps. Jefferson ‘Jeff’ Van Drew (R-N.J.), Upton, Don Young (R-Alaska), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Katko — are beneficiaries of McCarthy’s fundraising apparatus because they face tough reelection contests.” Having McConnell vouch for their vote at a moment when Trump and other populists are berating them for it may help soothe conservative anger at them in their districts.

Speaking of which, I’ll bet McConnell praised the bill lavishly partly because he enjoyed flouting Trump, who reiterated his disdain for it — and for Mitch himself — in a statement last night:

With Trump, it’s always personal. Biden notched a victory with McConnell’s help that Trump himself had sought for four years but failed to secure. Between that and McConnell’s belief that Biden legitimately won the election, Trump will never forgive him.

How much of a victory was the bipartisan bill for Biden, though? Passage of that legislation and (maybe) the reconciliation bill was supposed to restore his political fortunes. One elections analyst has been sifting through the early data, though, and so far there’s no movement:

If Biden doesn’t get a bounce soon, progressives will begin bleating that the roads-and-bridges bill is a bust and only by passing the reconciliation package can Dems truly begin to rebound. (Which is not true, given the polling on the two bills.) If they pass that one and Biden’s numbers still don’t improve, the party’s going to have a collective nervous breakdown.

They’re well on their way already:

As I’m writing this, news is breaking that Biden plans to sign the bipartisan bill next week:

Some had speculated that he might try to show solidarity with progressives by refusing to sign the bill, allowing it to become law after 10 days and waiting until the reconciliation bill passed to sign that one. But it would be foolish to pass on a plum political photo op, especially now that the latest inflation report has made the weather stormy for Build Back Better. Maybe Biden realizes that reconciliation is now on life support and he’d better take his victory lap when he can. Hence a big signing ceremony for the bipartisan bill.

Exit question: Will Mitch McConnell attend? Wearing an “America Was Already Great” cap, maybe?

Source: HotAir

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