Former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe said he thought the price tag on the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion spending plan is “too high,” at a debate with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday ahead of the state gubernatorial elections.
“I think the 3.5 is too high. “But here’s my message to Congress: I’m sick and tired of all of them,” McAuliffe told moderator Chuck Todd. “They’ve got to stop their little chitty-chat up there, and it’s time for them to pass it: let’s get this infrastructure bill passed for America.”
The Biden administration is currently attempting to pass its $3.5 trillion plan as well as a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. However, infighting between progressives and moderates has slowed the passage of the bills.
Polls have shown Youngkin and McAuliffe in a neck-and-neck race for the governorship of Virginia, following a decade in which Democrats consistently bested Republicans for statewide office there. McAuliffe and advisers told the White House that the political environment among Democrats in Washington is contributing to lackluster polling, party officials told the New York Times.
“Voters didn’t send Democrats to Washington to sit around and chitty-chat all day,” McAuliffe told the Times on Saturday. Voters want “to see competence; they want to see people doing their jobs.”
The White House is concerned about the close race in Virginia, sources told Politico on Tuesday.
“If Terry loses that’s going to scare a lot of Democrats on the Hill,” Democratic strategist Josh Schwerin, who has worked as McAuliffe’s press secretary, told Politico. “It’s going to make people worry about the midterms and it’s going to make it harder to pass the president’s agenda.”