Mark Kelly, Echoing Krysten Sinema, Concerned Over Biden's Infrastructure Price Tag

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Krysten Sinema both expressed a measure of reluctance to support the cost of the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion budget resolution bill, which aims to fund new infrastructure measures, while at the same time saying they support moving the process forward.

The Democratic senators both made comments on Wednesday that suggested support for much of the agenda of the plan, which included President Joe Biden's "human infrastructure" agenda, like expanding Medicare, paid family leave, funding universal pre-school and paying for climate change initiatives, but not the high price tag many Democrats believe it will actually cost.

Sinema told Senate leadership and Biden on Wednesday she supports goals like job growth and American competitiveness. "I have also made clear that while I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion—and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona's economy and help Arizona's everyday families get ahead," she said later in the day in a written statement.

Kelly echoed Sinema's sentiments without going quite as far, when he said Wednesday that although he does plan to vote to advance a budget resolution, he does have concerns about the $3.5 trillion price tag. "I want to see it paid for," he said. "But I want to see this process move forward."

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Kelly said "A lot of work remains to continue rebuilding and growing our economy, which is why I want to see us move forward with this budget process," but he did not commit to supporting the top-line $3.5 trillion price tag.

On Wednesday, Kelly told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju he was "still looking at it," in response to questioning about Sinema's opposition to the high-cost budget resolution bill. "We'll see what's in the details of the bill, what we spend the money on and how we pay for it."

Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will likely need 100 percent support from the Democrats to move the bill forward in a 50-50 split Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris has the tie-breaking vote.

"I would say that if the bipartisan infrastructure bill falls apart, everything falls apart," West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin told reporters earlier in the week. Manchin, one of the more conservative Democratic senators, has expressed mixed feelings about the bill.

"I think there's a lot of good things in the reconciliation [bill] I really want to work on," Manchin said Monday. "But we haven't spent the time on that. This [bipartisan] one's ready to go. This one's ready to go."

Mark Kelly
Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Krysten Sinema both expressed a measure of reluctance to support the cost of the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion budget resolution bill, which aims to fund new infrastructure measures, while at the same time saying they support moving the process forward. Here, Kelly appears outside the U.S. Capitol on April 29 in Washington, D.C. Stefani Reynolds/Getty