AMAC Exclusive By Seamus Brennan
In the battle to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the now infamous comment that Congress had to “pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Despite the resulting disaster of Obamacare, Senate leadership is now taking that strategy a step further as it attempts to force a vote on an infrastructure bill that has not even been written yet. But this time, it’s not just Democrats at fault. A handful of Republican senators, ostensibly eager to reach a bipartisan agreement on Joe Biden’s so-called American Jobs Plan, are also at severe risk of falling into the Pelosi trap—and in doing so, making themselves complicit in Biden’s radical left agenda that they claim to oppose.
Following months of inter-party deliberation and attempts to reach a bipartisan consensus, the contents and provisions of the American Jobs Plan are still largely unknown, even as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) attempted to force a vote last week. The bill has hit several procedural roadblocks, undergone a series of changes, and faced various criticisms from members of both parties since the beginning of the new Congress, and the group of lawmakers working on the bill still have not produced anything approaching a final version for their colleagues – and the American people – to review.
Moreover, whether the Senate passes the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill or not, Democrats have indicated they will likely still try and ram through a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that would not only circumvent GOP votes, but would also include many of the controversial provisions that were left out of the so-called bipartisan “infrastructure” effort. In fact, President Biden almost blew up bipartisan negotiations last month when he openly stated that he wouldn’t sign a bipartisan infrastructure bill without the Senate first passing his highly partisan reconciliation bill. Although he later walked back his comments, many Republicans have warned that Democrats are likely only feigning bipartisanship as cover to pass a radical agenda they know most Americans do not support.
But even if Biden doesn’t condition his signing of the infrastructure bill on passage of the reconciliation bill, the few details that have emerged of the supposedly “bipartisan” infrastructure plan still contain numerous provisions that have nothing to do with traditional notions of infrastructure. Among these are $560 billion in climate change initiatives, a $165 billion extension of Obamacare benefits, and $120 billion in changes to state and local tax deductions that would primarily benefit blue states.
Many conservatives also fear Democrats may use their “infrastructure” initiatives to set in motion policies that would in effect abolish the suburbs. By proposing to create grants contingent upon counties allowing apartment buildings in any neighborhood—including in areas historically designated for single-family housing—Biden and congressional Democrats are advocating for policies that would in effect create crowded urban areas in suburban neighborhoods.
As USA Today reported in April, “Biden’s proposal would award grants and tax credits to cities that change zoning laws to bolster more equitable access to affordable housing. A house with a white picket fence and a big backyard for a Fourth of July barbecue may be a staple of the American dream, but experts and local politicians say multifamily zoning is key to combating climate change, racial injustice and the nation’s growing affordable housing crisis.”
Not only does the “bipartisan” plan fail to qualify as anything even resembling “infrastructure,” but it also threatens to replace white picket fences, Fourth of July barbecues, and the scenic seclusion of the suburbs with overcrowded apartment buildings, crammed parking lots, and endless construction projects.
Democrats have also threatened to sneak what they call “election infrastructure”—or radical voting left changes —into the bill. Several GOP senators have additionally claimed Democrats are pushing to include a provision offering amnesty to illegal aliens, further contradicting the Democrat talking points that the “infrastructure” package and reconciliation bill are bipartisan ventures—or even infrastructure-related at all. In fact, a June 24 “fact sheet” from the White House indicates that the “roads, bridges, major projects” component of the infrastructure bill would call for only $109 billion—less than 10 percent of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal and less than 3 percent of the total $4.7 trillion that Biden is requesting.
Despite the plan’s inclusion of obvious left-wing agenda items and lack of attention to real infrastructure initiatives, some Republicans remain inexplicably enthusiastic to move forward with the legislation. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have each been active in cross-party discussions to reach a “bipartisan compromise.” Yet, even after months of negotiation, mostly behind locked doors, they have produced no finished product and are asking their colleagues to vote to pass a bill that not only have they not read, but that does not yet exist.
Most conservatives understand that Joe Biden’s banner campaign promises to work across the aisle, pass legislation in bipartisan fashion, and govern as a moderate served only as a means to masquerade his far-left legislative agenda. So, why is a group of Republicans granting undue credibility to this false narrative and obstructing their own party’s—and their country’s—interests in the process?
In a July statement, former President Trump warned against this very predicament: “RINO Republicans should stop negotiating the infrastructure deal,” he wrote. “You are just being played by the Radical Left Democrats—they will give you nothing!” For the good of the conservative movement, the United States, and perhaps these senators’ future reelection bids, let’s hope they can see the truth before it’s too late.
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