Friday, September 17, 2021

Republicans Opposing the Mass Infrastructure Bill Ask: Where’s the Full Text?

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At least one Republican voting no on the proposal to begin debating the package expressed his frustration on Twitter after the procedural vote. The U.S. Senate, in a 67-32 procedural vote Wednesday, advanced a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill — despite the fact that the full text of the proposal hasn’t been made public yet.

Both the White House and Senate Republicans, however, released summaries stressing what they believe are key points of the package.

“I voted no on #infrastructure a week ago because there was no legislative text,” Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina wrote Wednesday night. “My mind hasn’t changed. There’s still no legislative text or explanation on how to pay for a $1T infrastructure plan.”

The 57-page GOP summary, as reported by The Associated Press, highlights how many of the items in the plan would be paid for – but still left skeptical Republicans seeking more details, the AP reported. 

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The White House summary, in contrast, focuses on how much money would be allocated for roads, bridges, public transit and other infrastructure goals.

Only 17 Senate Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in agreeing that the Senate should debate the measure – so the plan still faces significant GOP opposition after a vote that was considered just the first in several steps before the Senate ultimately decides whether to approve the plan.

“There’s still no legislative text or explanation on how to pay for a $1T infrastructure plan.”

Many of those Republican opponents are concerned that approving the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan might clear the way for the Senate to also approve a separate $3.5 trillion spending package for family and environmental programs that Democrats are pushing for.

– U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks to reporters in Washington, May 18, 2021. (Associated Press)

Some Republicans note that moderate Democrats – especially those facing reelection – could hesitate to support both packages out of fear of alienating voters. Democrats facing such risks include Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, according to the AP.

“I think it puts their members more on the defensive – and having to defend very, in my view, indefensible spending and taxing,” U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told the AP.

“I think it puts their members more on the defensive – and having to defend very, in my view, indefensible spending and taxing.”

– U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

The 17 Senate Republicans opposing the plan were Roy Blunt of Missouri; Richard Burr of North Carolina; Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine; Kevin Cramer of North Dakota; Mike Crapo of Idaho; Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; Chuck Grassley of Iowa; John Hoeven of North Dakota; Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Rob Portman of Ohio; James Risch of Idaho; Mitt Romney of Utah; Thom Tillis of North Carolina; and Todd Young of Indiana.

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

According to the GOP’s 57-page summary of the bill, as reported by the AP, the measure calls for:

BIPARTISAN GROUP’S INFRASTRUCTURE BILL CLEARS CRUCIAL SENATE PROCEDURAL VOTE

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