Kevin McCarthy Faces Republican Attacks After Failing to Stop Infrastructure Bill's Passage

GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy faced Republican backlash Saturday after failing to stop the passage of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday.

The bill wouldn't have passed were it not for the 13 Republicans who voted in favor of the infrastructure plan. That made critics in the GOP question McCarthy's ability to lead the party in the future.

The infrastructure bill passed with a final vote of 228 to 206 after lengthy negotiations. Most Republicans and six Democrats voted against it.

The bipartisan bill passed in the Senate in August with 19 Republican votes. The legislation aims to improve the country's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, rail, and airports, over five years.

Some House Republicans expressed their frustration about the key role that GOP colleagues played in the bill's passage.

"I can't believe Republicans just gave the Democrats their socialism bill," Matt Gaetz of Florida tweeted on Saturday. Chip Roy chimed in, tweeting, "that 13 House Republicans provided the votes needed to pass this is absurd."

Meanwhile, Madison Cawthorn targeted Republicans before the Friday vote when he wrote on Twitter: "Vote for this infrastructure bill and I will primary the hell out of you."

Last week, Marjorie Taylor Greene also warned against voting in favor of the bill. She said that any Republican who would vote for it is a "traitor to our party, a traitor to their voters and a traitor to our donors."

The National Review, meanwhile, wrote that it's "not too soon to be asking whether Representative Kevin McCarthy should be ousted from leadership for his inability to keep his caucus together on such a crucial vote."

Newsweek contacted McCarthy for comments but didn't hear back in time for publication.

McCarthy discouraged his fellow Republicans from voting for the infrastructure bill. Last week, he said he would "expect few, if any, to vote for it, if it comes to the floor today."

He also accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders of "trying to intimidate and bully members" into voting for their legislation.

"We're moments away from voting on a 2,145-page bill, advanced in the dead of night, finalized a few hours ago," McCarthy told reporters. "And not one person in this body has read it."

When asked in an interview with FOX News last week whether he thinks the infrastructure bill would pass, McCarthy said: "It will fail."

Kevin McCarthy Faces backlash from Republicans
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy faces backlash from Republicans for failing to stop the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Above, McCarthy answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images