The Democrats once again played the GOP on Capitol Hill.
This time, they put forth a totally unacceptable reconciliation bill knowing it will get stalled but would allow the more palatable infrastructure bill to get pushed through, also stuffed with part of their far-left green agenda.
Though touted as a “bipartisan infrastructure bill,” the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains no conservative victories but has many leftist carveouts.
President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, it’s Biden’s only significant legislative victory since Congress passed his coronavirus rescue plan in March, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), the Republican Study Committee (RSC) chairman, noted that only $110 billion of the $1.2 trillion in spending would fund roads, bridges, and other projects that most Americans would consider infrastructure.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the bill would add $256 billion to the deficit, and the Penn-Wharton Budget Model said the bill would add no “significant” level of economic growth.
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Progressives such as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg argue the spending in the bill would fix “social justice” issues including “racism physically built into some of our highways,”
The infrastructure bill was approved in the Senate on a bipartisan 69-30 vote.
The infrastructure bill includes:
- $110 billion for roads and bridges. More than 45,000 bridges nationwide are rated in poor condition. The bill also includes $16 billion for major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding.
- $66 billion for Amtrak for passenger and freight rail. The bill aims to eliminate Amtrak’s maintenance backlog and modernize the Northeast Corridor.
- $65 billion to expand broadband internet access. The White House estimated as many as 40 million Americans lack broadband access. Biden initially sought $100 billion.
- $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid with renewable energy and thousands of miles of new power lines.
- $55 billion to upgrade water systems, with a goal of replacing the country’s lead service pipes.
- $42 billion for airports, waterways and port infrastructure. Airports would receive $25 billion.
- $39 billion for public transit. The bill aims to repair and upgrade transit systems and make stations more accessible to elderly and passengers with disabilities.
- $7.5 billion for charging stations for electric vehicles and $7.5 billion for electric buses.
Breitbart points out this bipartisan infrastructure bill advances leftist priorities:
- Defines “gender identity” as a protected class.
- Doles out “digital equity” grants partly based on racial or ethnic minority status.
- State-mandated carbon reduction program
- Contains funding for “zero-emission vehicles”
- Addresses “over-the-road bus tolling equity”
- Contains the word “equity” 64 times
- Provides roughly $2.5 billion to help the U.S. government expand the border processing stations used by migrants from poor Central American nations and other regions around the world.
- Contains a $10 million grant to create a Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax (VMT) Pilot program, which many conservatives argue could lead to a permanent VMT tax.
- A $1 million per state grant to encourage children to walk to school.
The RSC wrote that it would include $66 billion in funding for Amtrak while preventing any taxpayer accountability for the railway service.
The bipartisan infrastructure proposal floating around the Senate is essentially a Green New Deal Lite.
— RSC (@RepublicanStudy) August 2, 2021