Americans Reject Democrats’ Attempts To Redefine ‘Infrastructure’

With Democrats Trying To Redefine Infrastructure To Mean Any Left-Wing Program On Any Subject They’ve Ever Desired, A New Poll Finds Most Americans Agree With The Traditional Definition Of Infrastructure And Have Little Appetite For Lashing It To Expansive Liberal Wish Lists

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[Recently] the Biden Administration unveiled their latest misleadingly-titled legislation. This time, under the supposed veil of ‘infrastructure’, the White House has lumped together a motley assortment of the Left’s priciest priorities. This plan would impose the biggest tax hikes in a generation when workers need an economic recovery. It would gut right-to-work protections for blue-collar workers. It would throw hundreds of billions at the far-left’s ‘green’ fads. They even want to include a special state and local tax provision designed to overwhelmingly benefit wealthy residents of blue states. Less than 6% of this proposal goes to roads and bridges. It’s not remotely targeted toward what Americans think they’re getting when politicians campaign on infrastructure. But instead of coming up with a better bill, Democrats have decided it’s the English language that has to change. They’re embarking on an Orwellian campaign to convince everybody that any government policy whatsoever can be labeled ‘infrastructure.’ Liberals just have to believe in it hard enough.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/12/2021)


Americans Agree: Majorities Of Voters Reject Assertions That Climate Change Or Wealth Inequality Are ‘Infrastructure’ Issues

A March survey by Harvard CAPS and The Harris Poll found that:


Yet The Biden White House Proposal Is Stuffed With All Kinds Of Spending And Policies That Have Little To Nothing To Do With Infrastructure From Climate Mandates To Home Care And Medicaid To Union Giveaways

“Biden’s plan also includes measures unrelated to either infrastructure or the climate, such as an approximately $400 billion investment in home-based care for the elderly and disabled that was a top demand of some union groups. Additionally, the plan calls for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a bill aimed at significantly strengthening workers’ rights to organize.” (“White House Unveils $2 Trillion Infrastructure And Climate Plan, Setting Up Giant Battle Over Size And Cost Of Government,” The Washington Post, 04/01/2021)

Biden ‘Declar[ed] It A Pillar Of His Plan To Address Climate Change,’ And Stuffed A Plan To Kill Affordable Coal And Natural Gas Power Generation Into ‘The Sprawling Infrastructure Proposal’

“President Biden confronted Republican hostility toward his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package yesterday by declaring it a pillar of his plan to address climate change. ‘Investing in clean energy to fight the effects of climate change is part of infrastructure,’ Biden said in remarks aimed at pressuring political opponents to support his so-called American Jobs Plan. His comments dovetailed with indications from White House advisers that the sprawling infrastructure proposal could be used as a cornerstone of the administration’s 2030 climate goals, which are widely expected by outside observers to seek a roughly 50% reduction in carbon emissions.” (“Biden Says Infrastructure Is the Pillar of His Climate Plan,” E&E News, 4/08/2021)

Also Included Is A Whopping $400 Billion To Expand Medicaid Into Long-Term And Home Health Care Services

“President Joe Biden is proposing a major expansion of the government’s role in long-term care, but questions are being raised over his using the low-income Medicaid program and piggybacking the whole idea on an infrastructure bill. The White House infrastructure package includes $400 billion to accelerate a shift from institutional care to home and community services through the federal-state Medicaid program. The size of the financial commitment — about 17% of the $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal — leaves no doubt that Biden intends to put his mark on long-term care.” (“Biden's Ambitious Expansion Of Long-Term Care Sparks Debate,” ABC News, 4/09/2021)

Even More Outrageous Is The Inclusion Of A Giveaway To Big Labor Unions That ‘Would Impose Sweeping Changes To Labor Laws That Have Little To Do With The President’s Spending Plan’

“President Biden has called on Congress to pass the most significant changes to labor laws in decades as part of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. But getting that pro-union proposal through Congress could be a high hurdle for Democrats... Progressives, labor unions and the business community are squaring off over the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. The bill would make it easier for gig workers and other independent contractors to unionize and set an enforceable timeline for union-employer negotiations to commence. It would also undercut states’ ‘right to work’ laws by allowing unions to collect dues from workers who opted out.” (“Democrats Tie Infrastructure Package to Unionization Push,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/2021)

  • “If passed as is, the PRO Act ‘would end flexible and independent earning opportunities for millions of app-based workers overnight,’ said Whitney Mitchell Brennan, a spokeswoman for the App-Based Work Alliance, which represents Uber, Lyft and food-delivery services such as Postmates. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which includes the Chamber of Commerce and the National Small Business Association, said it is planning a multimillion-dollar campaign against the legislation, which the group says would be detrimental to business if passed.” (“Democrats Tie Infrastructure Package to Unionization Push,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/2021)


To Sell All This, The Biden Administration Insists That The ‘Idea Of Infrastructure’ ‘Should Evolve’

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “The idea of infrastructure has always evolved to meet the aspirations of the American people and their needs, and it’s evolving again today.” (Remarks by President Biden on the American Jobs Plan, Washington, DC, 4/07/2021)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: “Our view — [the president’s] view is we don’t just fix what is broken today, we build for tomorrow.  And his idea of infrastructure is evolving — is that it should evolve to address the needs of the American people.” (White House Press Briefing, 4/07/2021)

SECRETARY OF ENERGY JENNIFER GRANHOLM: “I mean, what is infrastructure? … You need to make sure that people can actually go to work if they have an aging parent or a child. This is -- as the president said this week, that infrastructure evolves to meet the American people’s aspirations. And it’s not static…. We don’t want to use past definitions of infrastructure, when we are moving into the future …” (ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” 4/11/2021)

NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR BRIAN DEESE: “Well, look, I think we really need to update what we mean by infrastructure in the 21st Century… We believe that the infrastructure of our care economy is something we have to take very seriously. If anybody out there, many of your viewers who are parents, who are taking care of an elderly parent or an adult child with disabilities, they know that if you don’t have an infrastructure of care to support your loved ones, you can’t effectively work. You can’t effectively interact in the 21st Century economy. So, I think investing in the infrastructure of care.” (Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” 4/04/2021)


And Senate Democrats Are Determined To Stretch ‘Infrastructure’ Beyond All Meaning By Declaring Every Spending Program They Want To Be ‘Infrastructure’

“When it comes to electric cars, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) complains that Biden’s package focuses more on them than on ‘traditional infrastructure’ like roads and bridges. To Republicans, she said, that’s a ‘signal that this is being used as a vehicle for parts of the Green New Deal, and massive policy changes, rather than modernizing and rebuilding our infrastructure.’ For [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer [D-NY] that’s precisely the point. ‘I say yes. We need both. This bill does both. It has one of the largest traditional infrastructure funding [numbers] that we've seen in a long time, and it recognizes the new’ breed of infrastructure, he said.” (“Chuck Schumer Is Thinking Big — Gridlocked Senate Be Damned,” Politico, 4/07/2021)

FOX NEWS’ NEIL CAVUTO: “You took a little heat not too long ago when you talked about childcare, caregiving, paid leave are, in fact, infrastructure. Other Republicans added memes to criticize that, that everything, by your definition, would be infrastructure. Do you ever regret saying that?”
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “No, not at all. But let me explain to your viewers. So, we know that, if you have a company that wants to ship goods, things like rail lines and roads are infrastructure. But if you don’t have childcare, if you don’t have the ability to look after kids when they should be in school, but aren’t, because they’re home because of COVID, you don’t have the infrastructure you need around you to get to work. So, the care economy is what we could call soft infrastructure…. And so it matters what we define as infrastructure as what’s necessary to get the economy moving. And if you don’t have access to day care, universal pre-K, affordable day care, or a national paid leave plan, it’s going to be really hard to get families back to work. And we need them back to work. We need this country to be thriving and providing.” (Fox News, 4/13/2021)

  • CAVUTO: “… Do you think that it fed a narrative that Republicans seized on, though, to say, see, this is all about using this as an excuse for Democrats to spend, spend, spend?”
  • GILLIBRAND: “And the answer is no. … And I think, until this country recognizes things like the care economy is part of infrastructure, it’ll never fully recover. I think we have to understand that it’s critical infrastructure...” (Fox News, 4/13/2021)

CNN’s ANDERSON COOPER: “[T]here is this battle going on right now to define what infrastructure is. You and other Democrats are arguing things like home health care, job training should fall under the umbrella of infrastructure. Those, you know, there are others who say those are clearly not infrastructure. Is the definition accurate?”
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT):I think the definition of infrastructure are the goods and services and structures that maintain a society. And when you define infrastructure in that way, to me, if a mom and dad go to work in the morning, you know, what they have the right to know that their children, their little kids are going to be in quality childcare that they can afford. When I talk about infrastructure, I am talking about the fact that today in America is unbelievable. You got millions of senior citizens who have no teeth in their mouth, unable to digest the food that they are eating, they cannot hear well and are isolated from their kids and grandchildren and their communities they can’t hear and people have trouble seeing because the cost of dental care, the cost of eyeglasses, the cost of hearing aids is astronomically high. And we got to deal with that. And that’s why I am fighting to expand Medicare to include dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids, lowered the age of eligibility for Medicare to 60. And we pay for that by finally having the courage Anderson to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industrySo to my mind, what infrastructure is about, it’s not only physical infrastructure, it is human infrastructure…. So when we talk about human infrastructure, it means doing what many countries around the world have done for years, and that is provide the basic health care and childcare and paid family and medical leave that their families require.” (CNN, 4/12/2021)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “The Biden administration will seek big climate elements in the infrastructure bill, to the point where it might even be called a climate infrastructure bill.” (“Markey And Progressive Democrats See Infrastructure Bill As A Way To Accomplish Green New Deal Goals,” The Boston Globe, 3/28/2021)



Related Issues: Infrastructure, Senate Democrats