Democrats are lining up to defend and justify Joe Biden’s obscene $2.5 trillion ‘infrastructure’ spending bill by attempting to redefine — dramatically — what the term actually means.
“Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tweeted Wednesday.
Paid leave is infrastructure.
Child care is infrastructure.
Caregiving is infrastructure.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 7, 2021
“I think we really need to update what we mean by infrastructure for the 21st century,” Biden National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told “Fox News Sunday.”
“The jobs numbers in March were certainly a welcome sign. It’s good to see the economy starting to improve, and we certainly think it’s a sign that the economic and vaccination strategy that this administration has put into place from Day One is starting to have an impact,” Deese told host Chris Wallace.
“But we have a long way to go,” he added. “We still are down 8.4 million jobs from where we were a year ago. We have millions of people out of work. More than 2 million women have left the labor force because they’ve had to choose between caring for their family members and their jobs, and so we have a long way to go.”
“What our plan says is let’s keep the economy going. Let’s see more job creation — that’s a really good thing for the economy,” Deese continued. “But let’s also think to the longer-term about where those investments [are] that we can make that will really drive not just more job growth, but better job growth. Not just job growth in the short term, but job growth in the long term by investing in our infrastructure. By investing in our research and development in a way that we haven’t since the 1960s.”
Republicans, however, aren’t buying and in fact are pointing out that Biden’s spending plan encapsulates a lot of things that are not legitimate infrastructure as most Americans think of it — roads, bridges, airports, waterways, and even rail.
“This plan is not about rebuilding America’s backbone. Less than 6% of this massive proposal goes to roads and bridges,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. “It would spend more money just on electric cars than on America’s roads, bridges, ports, airports and waterways combined.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, added: “At its core, the president’s plan calls for a $620 billion investment in transportation infrastructure. However, the total soars to $3 trillion with its inclusion of these broad policy priorities that are a far cry away from what we’ve ever defined as infrastructure.”
Fox News added:
A Fox News analysis, which broadly counted investments fitting that definition found that just under $750 billion of Biden’s plan consists of infrastructure. That’s less than 40%. …
Other items included in the plan that are not infrastructure are $213 billion directed at home sustainability and public housing; $174 on electric vehicles; $400 billion on home-based care for the elderly and disabled; $50 billion on “research infrastructure” at the National Science Foundation, and much more.
Biden is also attempting to sell his plan.
The fact of the matter is that when you’re in a situation where you can’t turn on the water fountain in school, and worry you’re going to drink polluted water that affects your health, replacing all those pipes is infrastructure,” Biden said Monday.
“When I’m talking about making sure that you take that asbestos out of schools, that’s infrastructure. When I’m talking about building high-speed rail, that’s infrastructure,” he added.
When pressed earlier this week to explain the administration’s definition of infrastructure, White House press secretary Jen Psaki also attempted to justify non-traditional spending.
“It is rebuilding the backbone and the infrastructure of our workforce, because there are 2 million women who are out of the workforce who, hopefully, if we could help them with caregiving, will be able to rejoin,” she said.