Democrats should have some new technology in the infrastructure bill instead of just more of the same old stuff with much of the pork going to Democrat states like California and New York. Why would Republicans vote for that? To get passage of the bill some political skill is wonted (an older English language use) to cut some of the Republican herd and move them for the vote to the Democrat corral. Using budget reconciliation to force through a somewhat dumb infrastructure pork bill might be regarded as a political mistake. If it was a very smart bill mostly with new forms of physical infrastructure in transportation, energy and land use it might be alright anyway.
Consider Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; aren’t they often half-Democrats already? Put the stick of pork out in front of them so they can go chasing after it. A billion or two for Maine and three four Alaska infrastructure investments apiece could win two votes. Perhaps there is some infrastructure configuration that could win ten Republican votes. Designing a passable infrastructure bill might require using 10% of the bill to buy several Republican votes investing in highest quality new infrastructure for their states. With 30 trillion of public debt investing so little in infrastructure might say something about Repubs actually interests and center of effort (China?).
If a 500 M.P.H. land cargo transport structure were built between Chicago, Dallas and Houston and 25 billion was spent in Texas I would guess a pair of Texas votes would be for the infrastructure bill. Might be a Republican led state on the path of a California to D.C. 500 m.p.h. line that has a few Repub votes that would support an additional ten billion of spending in each of their states.
Alaskan villages and the rail belt could use a billion dollars worth of state of the art fuel cell power plants, and a fuel production facility for the fuel cell plants would be useful too. Each Republican state might have a vote that could be shaken free to vote for large green-energy infrastructures. Hasn’t the President learned anything about negotiations in the Senate or has he fallen under the dire threats and imprecations umbrella politics of Trump and Russia haters.
Some time before he fades into the sunset the President should invite President Putin to a barbeque on the beach at Nome for a day of green energy and transport planning. Negotiating with less than a hateful bias can be useful if one is seeking to improve things for the United States and eventually the rest of the planet.