Republicans at Odds Over Infrastructure Bill as Vote Approaches - 3 minutes read

“We’re working to keep that number as low as we possibly can,” he said.
A few House Republicans who are members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus have announced their support for the measure, including Representatives Tom Reed of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Don Bacon of Nebraska. On Monday, Representative Don Young of Alaska, the longest serving member of the House, announced his support with an impassioned speech on the House floor.
Understand the Infrastructure Bill

One trillion dollar package passed. The Senate passed a sweeping bipartisan infrastructure package on Aug. 10, capping weeks of intense negotiations and debate over the largest federal investment in the nation’s aging public works system in more than a decade.
The final vote. The final tally in the Senate was 69 in favor to 30 against. The legislation, which still must pass the House, would touch nearly every facet of the American economy and fortify the nation’s response to the warming of the planet.
Main areas of spending. Overall, the bipartisan plan focuses spending on transportation, utilities and pollution cleanup.
Transportation. About $110 billion would go to roads, bridges and other transportation projects; $25 billion for airports; and $66 billion for railways, giving Amtrak the most funding it has received since it was founded in 1971.
Utilities. Senators have also included $65 billion meant to connect hard-to-reach rural communities to high-speed internet and help sign up low-income city dwellers who cannot afford it, and $8 billion for Western water infrastructure.
Pollution cleanup: Roughly $21 billion would go to cleaning up abandoned wells and mines, and Superfund sites.

But so far, such declarations are few. On Wednesday, Third Way, a centrist Democratic group with corporate backing, released a testy letter its president had written to 26 Republican “Problem Solvers” — only one of whom, Mr. Bacon, has indicated he is a “yes” vote — demanding they live up to their name.
“You have run for office and raised campaign funds on the promise that you are there to solve the nation’s problems and put country over party,” wrote Third Way’s president, Jonathan Cowan. “Anything other than declaring your support now and voting for the bill, in turn, would signal clearly to your constituents that you support nothing more than faux bipartisanship.”
Moderate Democrats say other supporters may surface — maybe as many as 20 Republican votes — if Ms. Pelosi can win over enough liberals to keep it close. But with a Thursday vote looming, time is running out.
Representative Peter Meijer, a freshman Republican from Michigan and one of the “Problem Solvers” who received the letter, said he had heard from Republicans on both sides of the issue, and, “the consensus is: better both fail.”
“President Biden saddling infrastructure with this $3.5 trillion albatross around its neck was a poison pill for those of us who wanted a bipartisan solution,” he said.
The infrastructure bill is an unusual phenomenon in a starkly polarized Congress: a truly bipartisan and significant bill, hammered out by Democrats and Republicans before it passed the Senate last month with 69 votes, 19 of them Republican, including that of the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Source: New York Times

Powered by