Here are the 17 Republican senators who voted to advance the infrastructure plan:
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
Jim Risch of Idaho
Mitt Romney of Utah
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
Todd Young of Indiana
The vote was 67-32.
The Senate needed just 60 yes votes to move forward with the package, and have met the threshold because of these Republicans.
First, here is a video by Tucker Carlson.
“Now a few of these people plan to retire soon, thank heaven. But most of them intend to get re-elected at some point, and it might be good if voters made that impossible.”
Lauren Boebert: “The infrastructure bill wants to tax you on the miles you drive. We already pay tolls, a gas tax and now a tax on mileage driven? This is a tax on rural America, imposed by DC beltway liberals who will never be affected by it.”
President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, if enacted, will force automobile manufacturers to equip all new vehicles with “advanced alcohol monitoring systems.”
The provision, which is buried within the 2,702-page bill, requires the Department of Transportation to create a new “advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology safety standard.”
The Transportation Department would have three years to design the new standard, followed by a two-year implementation timeline for automobile manufacturers.
. . . Yet even this supposedly moderate, reasonable bill is 2,702 pages in length, leaving ample room for lobbyists and individual politicians to slip in wasteful items and crony pet projects.
Here are nine examples of seemingly unrelated, wasteful, or otherwise dubious spending programs snuck into the thousands of pages of legislative text.
1. Invasive Plant Elimination Program
2. Study on ‘Stormwater Best Management Practices’
3. A Commission to Promote ‘Women in the Trucking Industry’
4. Millions for ‘Fish Restoration’ and ‘Recreational Boating Safety’
5. Funding for ‘Pollinator-Friendly Practices’ on Roadsides
6. Improving Sanitation in Rural and Native Alaskan Villages
7. Cash for Public School Improvement Projects
8. Funding for Refurbishing Household Wastewater Systems
9. Creation of an ‘Energy and Minerals Research Facility’
Read the article for the details.
Don’t think for a moment that the above nine examples are the only wasteful or questionable items in this bill. They are simply what one reporter could find in a few hours. Buried in the 2,702 pages are no doubt many, many more similar items, and the entire legislation would take an entire team of reporters weeks to comb through.
But maybe that’s exactly the point. . .
Whether one supports this new infrastructure bill or not is a broader question that requires adjudicating the proper federal role in infrastructure funding and the (rather dismal) state of our public finance. But the waste and bizarre expenditures slipped into this legislation demonstrate a broader principle: Any time centralized government officials come together to dole out trillions in taxpayer dollars, waste, inefficiency, and corruption are baked into the cake. And that’s worth remembering in future debates far beyond infrastructure.