Former President Donald Trump may not have as much of a hold on the GOP as he thinks – after his threat that there would be “lots of primaries” for lawmakers who didn’t help sink Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan fell on deaf ears.
Mr Trump made a last-minute appeal to Republicans after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would be voting in favour of advancing the bipartisan plan. The bill passed the Senate 67-32 after a total of 17 Republicans joined with Democrats in a huge step forward for Biden’s economic agenda.
“It is a loser for the USA, a terrible deal and makes the Republicans look weak, foolish and dumb,” Mr Trump said of the infrastructure plan.
“Don’t do it Republicans – patriots will never forget,” he added later in his statement. “If this deal happens, lots of primaries will be coming your way.”
Mr Trump has maintained a significant influence on the party since leaving office; with his loyalists hitting out at Democrats’ attempts to investigate the 6 January riot, in which a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol.
However, the former president’s latest attempt to exert his influence over the party didn’t go quite as planned, with the vote going against his directive – and even allies such as Senator Lindsay Graham throwing their support behind advancing the $1tn plan.
“The last time I told him there’s not going to be any tax increases, and I’m of the opinion let’s do a deal that’s good for the roads, ports, and bridges. Let’s do it,” he said, according to Politico “I appreciate the effort of everyone and I’m hoping we get there.”
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