Senate Republicans must vote no on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal.
First, there’s nothing “bipartisan” about this bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t even bring it to the House Floor for a vote until Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes a $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” bill, which includes all the wasteful tax and spending items the GOP worked to eliminate from the “bipartisan” plan.
If this bill comes to fruition, which Democratic leadership has vowed it will, the Democratic Party will have compromised on nothing at all - and Senate Republicans will be held responsible for rising inflation, higher deficit spending, and the dramatic expansion of the welfare state, that these two pieces of legislation will surely bring.
Second, if the bipartisan legislation fails, as it should, Democrats will be forced to jam all the real infrastructure items into their $3.5 trillion reconciliation effort - pushing up the price tag, and perhaps stalling the effort, which would be a good thing. Gridlock is the blessing of both Congressional branches being almost equally split between political parties.
Republicans must impede, not concede.
The amount in question is not small. Spending on infrastructure and reconciliation would total $4.2 trillion over ten years. The tax increases would need to add up to the same. That means that everyone – including the Republicans – who vote for the infrastructure deal are voting to increase the amount citizens pay to the federal government. It doesn’t matter whether you call it taxes, or fees, or tariffs, or – our personal favorite – a carbon border adjustment mechanism, it is all transferring cash from individuals to the government.
Speaker Pelosi understands that the infrastructure deal and reconciliation are linked. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer understands that as well. Even a diminished President Joe Biden gets it. The three of them also understand that the best way to avoid or deflect political blame for the resulting tax increases, inflationary pressures, and economic deterioration is to rope a few Republicans into voting for some of this mess.
It can’t be accidental that the only Republicans on the record supporting this disaster are either in their last term or have a history of being challenged a bit when it comes to figuring out what is going on.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin made it as clear as he could earlier this week. “I would say if the bipartisan infrastructure deal falls apart, everything falls apart. Both of them are extremely important. When one falls apart, how do you move the other one?”
He’s right. A vote for the “bipartisan infrastructure bill,” is a de facto vote for the largest tax increase in American history and $4.2 trillion of new government spending.
The only possible vote — the only defensible vote — for all of the Senate Republicans on the infrastructure “deal” and the related reconciliation package is a resounding “no”.