The GOP is usually painted as the party of obstruction that is shooting down a bipartisan effort for an infrastructure relief bill solely for political reasons, however Republican leaders tell a very different story.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) offered insight on Republican expectations of a bipartisan infrastructure bill during a recent press conference. Scalise stated the GOP has not been on board with a bill that would raise taxes.

Scalise said Republicans have been waiting to hear more from the White House and the bipartisan group who have been negotiating, but lawmakers are hopeful about physical infrastructure talks. However, the Louisiana lawmaker insisted Republicans would not budge on their refusal to support a bill containing any kind of tax increases to be shouldered by Americans.

Scalise went on to slam Democrats for proposing such a massive bill with no idea how to pay for it. He said Republicans have suggested using existing funds that have been unspent from previous relief bills.

“There’s hundreds of billions of dollars of money that’s been unspent, and many both on the Senate and House side have identified those funds as a way to start paying for it,” he explained. “You’ve got to look at how to pay for it and not in a way that raises taxes and kills American jobs.”

Scalise has been a vocal opponent of Biden’s infrastructure agenda. When the president was in Scalise’s home state of Louisiana stumping for his infrastructure plan, Scalise released a scathing rebuke in a statement to the press that read in part, 

“Today, President Biden will visit Louisiana to promote his budget-busting tax hike spending boondoggle masquerading as an infrastructure bill.

“Raising taxes that will force middle-class jobs overseas is not infrastructure. Unionizing health care workers is not infrastructure. In fact, more than 75 percent of President Biden’s so-called ‘infrastructure’ bill has nothing to do with roads, bridges, waterways, or broadband.”

It seemed last week that Biden had accomplished his goal of getting a bipartisan deal on infrastructure- one that would not only help rebuild America’s roads and bridges but also, potentially, move to tackle climate change, expand access to broadband internet, and remove lead from drinking water. But comments like Scalise’s show that it’s still not clear if the infrastructure deal can now get the 10 Republican votes it needs to overcome a filibuster in the Senate- particularly if it raises taxes to pay for the plan.