Like the battered wife who inexplicably returns to her abuser, Senate Republicans are recklessly reappearing to provide Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats a crucial win on infrastructure spending even while Biden and company continue to attack the GOP for every ill under the sun.
After more than 6 months of “take-it-or-leave-it” one-party rule by Biden, Pelosi and Schumer, their thinnest of majorities has produced not one single bipartisan advancement for America, but more than enough failure as it has appeared to finally run-aground.
Biden’s approval numbers are falling fast as inflation caused by too much government spending has the nation on the jitters. The southern border is a dumpster fire and everything this administration touches reveals dangerous incompetence. For the first time since the Obama/Biden years more Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction and they are clearly right.
Yet, Biden’s standing is the high water mark among his clan. Kamala Harris recently registered the lowest approval rating for a VP in more than 60 years as evidence of infighting between the White House and EEOB betrays a tragic insecurity about this administration’s future.
Congressional approval is even more desperate and Chuck Schumer is slashing about for a path to advance this big government agenda — for which he has no mandate — as his electoral clock winds down to the midterms which everyone recognizes as a likely rout for the current ruling Democrats.
And still, these Democrats can count on Senate Republicans to bail them out. While Nancy Pelosi marches on with her January 6 Republican lynching in the House, Senate Democrats and their freshly minted allies in the U.S. Chamber are picking off enough embarrassingly gullible GOP moderates to advance a $1.2 trillion, 2,700 page boondoggle that will be the political life preserver that may save the Democrats and Joe Biden from certain collapse.
So, what’s in this sprawling infrastructure deal and who benefits most? At 2,701 pages, the bill was clearly not written over the weekend. This is a progressive wish list for which no voter gave consent.
“This infrastructure bill is essentially Green New Deal, lite”, announced Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, “Only $110 billion of this 1 trillion plus bipartisan package goes to roads, bridges and other major projects that the American people generally consider infrastructure”.
In addition to the log-rolling road projects in enough red states to secure GOP Senators Murkowski, Burr, Tillis and Cassidy, the “deal” also fulfills Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez New Green dream to replace air travel with train rides and fixes “racism” in highways, whatever that means.
There are, of course, new taxes in this plan you can be certain. One insidious revenue plan is to advance technology to track driving habits in America. Under the guise of “pay as you go” transportation taxation, it will instead lead to more and greater control of the daily lives of Americans as Washington D.C. tracks your commutes and sends you a bill. Charming.
The measure also once again favors big blue cities over the rest of America directing over $15 billion in electrical vehicle charging structures as it pushes the left’s social justice mission: “[The act] mentions “equity 64 times ”, Rep. Banks further points out, as it gives “woke” regulators oversight on broadband expansion to ensure no discrimination based on “gender identity”.
Even more distressing, there are no apparent means to pay for all this new government spending. And at 2,701 pages, this opus is much too large to fully comprehend. The timeline that Majority Leader Schumer is projecting toward a vote leaves no Senator time to read much less analyze this bill. The fact is no one truly knows what is in this bill, much less what it will ultimately cost.
Why in the world would Republicans trust Schumer now?
But that isn’t stopping the U.S. Chamber, which actively campaigned against the GOP in the last few election cycles and is now arrogantly lobbying the GOP hard for all this crazy new spending. After all, their members will benefit extensively and justify their recent political marriage to big spending Democrats. The losers will be taxpayers and future generations of debt ridden Americans who apparently have no one looking out for their interests.
The progressive agenda is on the ropes and the wise course is to curb inflation, not add more spending. Holding the line on an additional $1.2 trillion is what voters expect of Republicans. And yet, time and again, the reckless spenders know they can count on the habitual nature of the GOP to reward their political foes as they beg for more abuse.
Lew Uhler is founder and chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee and the National Tax Limitation Foundation (NTLF). Uhler was a contemporary and collaborator with Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman in California and across the country.
Peter Ferrara served as a member of the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, Associate Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. under President George H.W. Bush, and the Dunn Liberty Fellow in Economics at the King’s College New York.
Joe Yocca is NTLF’s national policy director. A long-time political and policy consultant, Joe served in the California State Senate as chief of staff to the Republican leadership for decades and directed statewide, legislative and congressional campaigns throughout his career.