18 Republicans Vote to Advance Infrastructure Deal Despite Trump's Threats

The U.S. Senate on Saturday agreed to advance President Joe Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal despite threats made by his predecessor Donald Trump.

Eighteen Republicans said yes to the bill in a 67-27 vote, among them Roy Blunt, Shelley Capito, Bill Cassidy, Mitt Romney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The vote comes after months of negotiations.

18 Republicans voted YES: Senators Blunt, Capito, Cassidy, Collins, Cornyn, Cramer, Crapo, Fischer, Grassley, Hoeven, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Risch, Romney, Rounds, Tillis & Young

Not voting: Barrasso, Burr, Graham, Rubio, Scott (SC) & Warnock https://t.co/2evwVoZ5M5

— Senate Press Gallery (@SenatePress) August 7, 2021

The package, championed by Biden's administration, includes funding for roads, bridges, broadband internet, power grid upgrades and other priorities.

Trump on Saturday voiced his opposition to the large bipartisan infrastructure bill, saying it would be "very hard" to endorse Republican lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation.

"Joe Biden's infrastructure bill will be used against the Republican Party in the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024. It will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal," Trump said in an official statement on Saturday.

Trump called the package a "gift" to Democrats and argued that it was only supported by "RINOs," an acronym meaning "Republicans in name only."

"Whether it's the House or Senate, think twice before you approve this terrible deal. Republicans should wait until after the Midterms when they will gain all the strength they'll need to make a good deal," Trump said. Many political analysts believe Republicans are likely to take control of the House after the 2022 midterm elections. Control of the Senate will also be in flux.

Trump criticized McConnell, questioning the intelligence of the Republican leader.

"Joe Biden's infrastructure bill is a disgrace. 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," the former president said.

It was not the first time Trump expressed his opposition to the bill. Last month, he called it a "loser for the USA."

"Hard to believe our Senate Republicans are dealing with the Radical Left Democrats in making a so-called bipartisan bill on 'infrastructure,' with our negotiators headed up by SUPER RINO Mitt Romney," Trump said at the time.

At the end of last month, 17 GOP senators—including McConnell—voted to open debate on the legislation. A group of 10 Republican and 10 Democratic senators worked to negotiate the deal, with Senators Rob Portman and Kyrsten Sinema of Ohio and Arizona respectively playing integral roles regarding the talks.

"It's a bill that would end years of gridlock in Washington and create millions of good-paying jobs," Biden told reporters Friday. "It will put America on a new path to win the race for the economy in the 21st century—historic investment in roads and rail and transit and bridges to clean energy and clean water will enable us not only to build back but to build back better than before."

Correction 5:24 PM ET: An earlier version of the story misstated that Kirsten Gillibrand is a senator from Arizona. Kyrsten Sinema represents Arizona.

Infrastructure bill
The Senate voted on Saturday to advance President Joe Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal, despite warnings from Donald Trump. Drew Angerer / Getty Images