(Official Washington Examiner editorial, June 28)

Democratic leaders are engaging in a cynical bait-and-switch in a “deal” on a federal infrastructure bill. Every Republican in the Senate, including those who initially signed on to what they thought was a good-faith agreement, should reject the Democrats’ ploy.

The difference in the two parties’ approaches has been obvious for months. Republicans were willing to spend about $500 billion on things traditionally considered “infrastructure,” such as roads, bridges, ports, airports, and broadband. President Joe Biden initially proposed a behemoth plan costing more than five times that amount, which included all sorts of liberal wish-list items, such as “job training,” housing, and union organizing, that have nothing to do with traditional infrastructure. Indeed, even by liberal network CNN’s accounting, which gives the benefit of the doubt to Democrats in all matters, only 30% of Biden’s proposal was really infrastructure. (Republicans said it was just 7%.)

The obvious political solution (whether wise in policy or not is another question), one that in broad outlines a group of Republican senators has offered for many weeks without acceptance from Biden until now, was to take the GOP actual-infrastructure proposal and add to it some of the Democratic non-infrastructure wish list, for a total price of something less than $1 trillion. Indeed, that’s what Biden and the bipartisan group of senators announced on Thursday: a plan costing $972 billion over five years or $1.2 trillion if extended to eight years.

Before the sun had even set on the agreement, however, Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both effectively reneged on it. Now, they say they won’t enact the compromise package unless a second bill, containing almost all of their other extravagances, passes at the same time through budget reconciliation rules, which will allow passage with a simple majority of the Senate rather than 60 of the 100 members being in favor. … [The full editorial is at this link.] 


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