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Politics and Government

Katko: Massive spending bills 'poorly handled' by Biden, Pelosi

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Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) was prepared to be one of a handful of Republicans who would have voted for a massive infrastructure bill in the House last week. But he never got the chance after it was pulled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when it lost support from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

“Where they go going forward is anybody’s guess,” Katko said Monday during an event in Syracuse. “It’s been so poorly handled by the president, it’s been so poorly handled by the leaders of the Democratic Party, that it’s created rifts and fissures in the Democratic Party that won’t heal soon. So where it ends up is anybody’s guess right now.”

Katko said the infrastructure spending bill is necessary, but he’s not happy that it’s been linked to Build Back Better Act, a sweeping proposal that would expand the social safety net and climate policy.

That’s needed badly in this country and it’s a very good bill. The chamber backs, it, and others, the Chamber of Commerce,” Katko said of the infrastructure bill. “The other bill is completely a partisan wish list from progressives in the Democratic Party. And people are muddying the two for their own political reasons.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has told his caucus that Democrats will try to pass both pieces of legislation by the end of the month.