Former President Donald Trump pledged to withhold financial support and endorsement backing from any Republican who voted to support a massive, expensive infrastructure spending bill that contains several controversial provisions and will serve as a gateway to an even larger bill featuring a left-wing wish list of packages.
The former president’s threat to withhold support follows a 67-27 vote on Saturday in which the Senate advanced the $1.2 trillion spending measure.
Eighteen Republicans joined 49 Democrats to advance the legislation for further debate and negotiations, far surpassing the 60-vote filibuster threshold.
In a statement issued through is Save America PAC, Trump called Republican support for the measure a “disgrace” and said that Democrats will use it against the GOP in next year’s midterm elections.
“Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill will be used against the Republican Party in the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024,” he said.
“It will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal,” Trump added.
The former president then turned his ire towards a familiar name, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“If Mitch McConnell was smart, which we’ve seen no evidence of, he would use the debt ceiling card to negotiate a good infrastructure package,” Trump said, suggesting Republicans could vote against raising the debt ceiling again unless they got a better deal in the infrastructure package.
McConnell was one of the 18 Republicans who voted to advance the bill.
“Republicans and Democrats have radically different visions these days, but both those visions include physical infrastructure that works for all of our citizens,” the GOP leader said after the vote.
“The investments this bill will make are not just necessary, in many cases, they are overdue. Our country has real needs in this area,” McConnell added.
But Trump said the 2,700-plus page bill “was a gift to the Democrat Party, compliments of Mitch McConnell and some RINOs, who have no idea what they are doing.”
He went on to mention the follow-on legislation that Democrats are planning.
“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats understand to get the horrendous $3.5 trillion, actually $5 trillion, Green New Deal bill done in the House,” said Trump.
“Mitch is playing right into Nancy’s hands. [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer is already going around saying this is a big victory for the Democrats,” Trump added.
A final vote is expected next week, but after the support the initial vote to continue debate got from Republicans, it appears certain the legislation, in some form, will make it out of the chamber and be sent back to the House for consideration.
Meanwhile, in an interview Saturday with Fox News host and radio talker Dan Bongino, Trump touted his “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine program while he pushed back on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 recommendations for schools.
“I think if we didn’t come up during the Trump administration with the vaccine, you could have 100 million people dead just like you had in 1917,” Trump said, a reference to the Spanish Flu outbreak which came in full force in 1918 and killed tens of millions of people worldwide.
He went on to say that schools must reopen this fall to in-person classes, otherwise children will be permanently hurt.
“The schools have to open. These young people are losing a big part of their life and they’re not going to recover from it,” the former president said.