Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said it’s “abundantly clear” that America has the money to pay for anything the Biden administration deems “infrastructure” moving forward.
The Democrat made the claim with CNBC’s Joe Kernan this week as the host mocked a definition of the word “infrastructure” that appears to include “everything under the sun.”
“I don’t want to get bogged down in a semantic or philosophical argument over what to call something if it’s a good policy,” Mr. Buttigieg said Thursday when confronted on the party’s ever-expanding definition of infrastructure. “These are things the American people want.”
Democrats have been criticized for months over a $2 trillion plan that prompted New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to claim in April: “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.”
“You might as well just tell me, ‘you know, you need those roads to drive to free college and free child care, and, therefore, I want to build ‘em,’” Mr. Kernan told his guest. “I mean, come on! Come on. You know, you can’t do all of it at once. You can make that jump to everything under the sun is infrastructure, we should spend 100 trillion dollars and give everything to everyone because that’s what their life is. You can’t. We don’t have the money. We don’t have the wherewithal.”
Mr. Buttigieg disagreed.
“We do have the money, though! That’s the thing! Like, we abundantly do have the money because the bill is paid for, right?”
The CNBC host insisted that Democrats would be better off working with Republicans on a bill that was narrower in scope and stuck to the traditional definition of “infrastructure.”