(TheConservativeNews.org) – “Infrastructure” has been the main buzzword in Washington, DC for some time now. When President Joe Biden announced his plans to spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure earlier in the year, fierce debate ensued over how necessary his proposals were and how much money we could justify spending on them. There were even discussions about the definition of infrastructure, with “human infrastructure” among the projects Biden wanted to fund.
Despite much heated debate over the contents of the eventual legislation in Congress, it appears Democrats and Republicans may have finally reached a deal.
Biden Announces a Deal … Sort Of
On Thursday, June 24, President Biden announced lawmakers had reached a bipartisan compromise on an infrastructure bill. He conceded the agreement would sacrifice many of his aspirations for the bill. Instead of the $2.3-trillion deal he had wanted, the president indicated the proposal on the table would spend $1.2 trillion over 8 years. He remarked that he “clearly didn’t get all [he] wanted.”
In a twist that left most reporters and commentators scratching their heads, Biden then backtracked on this statement. Having admitted he did not get all he wanted in the bill, he said he would continue to pursue other objectives through budget reconciliation legislation, and would not sign off on the first bill unless the second was allowed to pass. If only one bill arrives on his desk, he says he’s “not signing it.”
Therefore, the bipartisan infrastructure bill may not be viable unless other spending measures come with it.
What Lawmakers Are Saying
While the bill appears to represent a certain degree of compromise, not all Conservatives are happy. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized the president for “caving” to Democratic leaders in Congress, pointing out that the bipartisan deal was being “[held] hostage” until the reconciliation measure passed.
Skepticism about the legislation is not limited to Republicans. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said the deal was “way too small,” and that he needed “ironclad assurance” of more substantial spending measures in the future. This serves to illustrate the fundamental problem with this process; Republicans and Democrats are in stark opposition in terms of how extensive the bill’s spending should be.
What’s Actually in the Bill?
The biggest single area of spending will be on roads, bridges, and other “major projects.” The bill has allocated $109 billion for those. The other major areas of spending include power infrastructure ($73 billion), railroad projects ($66 billion), and broadband infrastructure ($65 billion).
So, where do we go from here? Will this bill actually be the bipartisan compromise Biden is trying to present it as? Or, will we end up with a host of other frivolous Democratic spending measures? Only time will tell.
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