Reminding America that big spending is bipartisan, some Senate Republicans craving the illusion of artful dealmaking have linked arms with Democrats on Senate Amendment 2137 to H.R. 3684, thereby spawning the 2,702-page, trillion-dollar Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Those dollars will get spent regardless given Biden’s forthcoming multi-trillion-dollar budget reconciliation push furthering his American Jobs Plan and kickstarting his progressive American Families Plan. Republicans should be stopping both and presenting a different vision.
Joe Biden, Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) have not been evasive about the dual tracks of infrastructure and reconciliation going to the same place. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) warned multiple times that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will not be brought up in the House without the Senate’s passage of the child care, education, health care and climate amalgam.
The most troubling feature of the new compromise is that it covers a slew of things that ought not be done by any government, let alone the federal.
Given that faulty foundation, the snags that held things up over the past couple months weren’t even over the core issues. First, there is no appreciation in the new bill for the simple reality that infrastructure central planning is itself the reason for “crumbling” and non-upkeep as years pass. Ribbon-cuttings are fun; but maintenance? Not so much.
And second, most infrastructure concerns are not national in scope and ought not be getting addressed in Washington, but dealt with locally. And even where infrastructure is nationwide concern, private entities can probably still do it better without Washington steering via conceits like a charging station network for electric vehicles (will they have coffee kiosks and toilets like Sheetz?).
Read the full article at Forbes.