Democrats Need To “Get Serious” On Infrastructure Spending To Achieve Bipartisan Support
‘The bipartisanship that has defined infrastructure policy for years is becoming the exception to Democrats’ new, partisan rule. It might have something to do with the fact that our Democratic friends have taken to using ‘infrastructure’ as code for a growing wish-list of unrelated liberal spending.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding infrastructure:
“This morning, the Labor Department announced that it had observed the largest uptick in prices since the depths of the Great Recession in 2008. And core inflation had reached a nearly three-decade high.
“The latest data reinforce what too many Americans have been experiencing firsthand: the Biden Administration’s partisan spending bill has blunted our nation’s economic recovery.
“Higher prices at the gas pump and grocery store. A tougher time for small businesses trying to staff up. And unemployment policies that incentivize too many Americans to stay on the sidelines.
“Republicans and outside economists warned that the worst of these conditions could have been avoided. But Democrats chose to go it alone.
“As recently as a few days ago, it appeared that President Biden was open to a new, more consultative approach to major legislation.
“He and the leading Republican on a committee of jurisdiction were engaged in what appeared to be good-faith, bipartisan negotiations on infrastructure spending.
“But then, the President decided to walk away.
“Now, at the White House’s direction, Democrats in Congress are making preparations to muscle through a bloated spending bill on a unilateral, partisan basis.
“And it’s becoming clear that the sort of united, bipartisan action Ranking Member Capito has made possible within the EPW Committee is getting harder and harder to replicate.
“The bipartisanship that has defined infrastructure policy for years is becoming the exception to Democrats’ new, partisan rule.
“It might have something to do with the fact that our Democratic friends have taken to using ‘infrastructure’ as code for a growing wish-list of unrelated liberal spending. The Biden Administration’s first ‘infrastructure’ plan made that much clear from its rollout back in March.
“Remember, this was a multi-trillion-dollar bill that proposed to spend more on electric vehicles than on actual roads and bridges. It contained so many left-wing pet projects that the authors of the Green New Deal boasted about just how much of their manifesto’s DNA had rubbed off.
“Well, the Administration’s approach clearly influenced a number of Democrats here in the Senate.
“Last month, on the same day that Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Capito were guiding a surface transportation bill to a unanimous vote, the Finance Committee was busy marking up a partisan plan to pick winners and losers in the market for reliable domestic energy.
“And just this week, we watched their go-it-alone approach replicated by Democrats in the House.
“The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had a perfect opportunity to reach consensus on surface transportation. Our colleagues on the EPW Committee had left a clear roadmap on exactly how to cut a consensus deal.
“But instead, the House Chairman forced his committee to markup a $547 billion-dollar bill littered with Green New Deal policies.
“Compared to the last multi-year highway bill, it nearly doubles the share of resources for mass urban transit projects while upping the road-and-bridge funding Middle America relies on by not nearly as much.
“And in contrast to smart permit-streamlining steps taken by our colleagues’ Senate bill, it largely neglects to help the communities and builders who spend years wading through federal red tape before they can break ground.
“Mr. President, the recent history of investment in roads, bridges, waterways, airports, and broadband tells us that smart, targeted solutions are capable of earning overwhelming support.
“But until Democrats get serious, the road ahead for consensus action on our nation’s infrastructure will only get steeper."
Related Issues: Infrastructure