President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill delivered a bit of the bipartisanship he promised as a candidate.
On one hand, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the radicals on “The Squad” – Reps. Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, Jamaal Bowman, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley – voted with the overwhelming majority of Republicans in rejecting the bill.
On the other hand, 13 Republicans saved House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats from an embarrassing defeat by supporting it.
On the GOP side, at least one lawmaker was honest about his motive for defecting from his party.
According to Axios, Rep. Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican, said he voted for the plan to save his reelection chance.
“I helped draft this bill. To do a flip wouldn’t have been appropriate. Wouldn’t have been right,” he told Axios. “You vote one way, maybe it hurts in the primary. You vote the other way… in my district, it’d hurt me in the general.”
Bacon, according to election results, has not won more than 51 percent of the vote in his three elections since 2016 – although in 2020, as Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by six points in Bacon’s district, he was re-elected by five percentage points, his largest margin of victory so far – and that was after an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com showed he had voted with Trump 94 percent of the time.
The irony of Bacon’s claim about being hurt in the general election is that in the past two elections, he defeated a radical Democrat, Kara Eastman, who supported “Medicare for All,” was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and was backed by groups that advocate defunding the police.
Republicans, especially from rural areas outside metro Omaha, which lies at the heart of Bacon’s district, literally saved his bacon in 2020 by turning out at a higher-than-expected rate to defeat Eastman’s ideas.
Whether Bacon earns an opponent next year because of this vote remains to be seen. But Bacon’s fellow Republicans now were not happy with him or the other dozen GOP lawmakers who jumped ship.
“Throughout this process, the supporters of this $1.2 trillion almost 3,000-page monstrosity have lied to the American people about what’s in it and what it really costs,” said Rep. Chip Roy of Texas in a statement.
“The bill is not ‘paid for.’ It will increase the deficit by over a quarter trillion dollars, will exacerbate already skyrocketing inflation, and it wastes millions of taxpayer dollars on things like helping ‘pollinators on roadsides.’ It gives unprecedented spending power to unelected Washington bureaucrats, and it funnels billions of taxpayer dollars into renewable energy projects that will devastate our increasingly unreliable grid. Perhaps most absurdly, it will use taxpayer money to put critical race theory into practice with things like a $2.75 billion ‘digital equity program,’” Roy added.
“It should now be abundantly clear to every American and lawmaker that this bill was nothing but a trojan horse for Democrats’ radical proposals to fundamentally transform America,” he concluded.
“That 13 House Republicans provided the votes needed to pass this is absurd. Any House Democrats claiming to be moderate after voting to pave the way for a social transformation bill with massive amnesty, against American energy, for budget-busting and unpaid-for spending with massive tax increases, and for massive OSHA fines for vaccine mandates should be laughed out of the room.”
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona was more succinct about Bacon and his ilk.
“Republicans who voted for the Democrats’ socialist spending bill are the very reason why Americans don’t trust Congress,” tweeted Biggs.
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