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Republican US senators blasted President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan as a “dog’s breakfast of slush funds” ahead of Monday’s White House meeting to try to push the costly measure through Congress.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday called the spending proposal Biden’s “latest misleadingly titled legislation” and said that “Democrats have decided it’s the English language that has to change.
“They’re embarking on an Orwellian campaign to convince everybody that any government policy whatsoever can be labeled infrastructure,” he said.
McConnell also repeated his assertion that the massive spending plan was a “Trojan horse” full of tax increases.
“The White House has lumped together a motley assortment of the left’s priciest priorities,” McConnell said.
“This plan would impose…one of the biggest tax hikes in a generation when workers need an economic recovery. It would gut right-to-work protections for blue-collar workers.”McConnell added: “It would throw hundreds of billions at the far left’s green fads. They even want to include a special state and local tax revision designed to overwhelmingly benefit wealthy residents of blue states.”
Highlights of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan:
Roads and bridges: $600 billion-plus.
The most traditional form of infrastructure improvement — to the nation’s automotive transportation system — will seek to shorten commute times, reduce the cost of vehicle repairs and prevent damage from extreme weather. Repairs to substandard roads and bridges alone will cost $115 billion.
Drinking water: $111 billion.
The White House says the money is needed “to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.”
Housing: $200 billion.
The spending seeks to help tenants who spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent by increasing the supply of affordable housing.
Broadband: $100 billion.
The plan seeks to expand access to the Internet by supplying “universal, reliable, high-speed and affordable coverage to every family in America.”
Caregiving: $400 billion.
The spending would increase the amount of home- and community-based services to hundreds of thousands of older people and those with disabilities, and also improve jobs for caregivers.
Manufacturing: $300 billion.
American manufacturers would get help to retool and revitalize their factories, including incentives to invest in “innovative energy projects.”
Earlier Monday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) noted that a new White House breakdown of the proposed spending on public transportation claims that “32 percent of trains and other transit vehicles” in his state “are past useful life.”
“There are no public transportation trains in Wyoming,” Barrasso tweeted.
“The president says he is a ‘no malarkey’ guy… this is a malarkey plan.”
Barrasso also called it “the biggest bait and switch since [former President Barack Obama] announced his ‘shovel-ready’ stimulus.”
A memo circulated by the Senate Republican Conference — and obtained by The Post — called Biden’s proposal “a partisan plan to kill jobs and create slush funds on the taxpayer dime.”
Actual expenditures on the nation’s roads and bridges would account for just 5 percent of what’s estimated to wind up being a total of $2.7 trillion in spending, according to the memo.
“President Biden laid out a partisan plan to kill jobs and create slush funds on the taxpayer dime,” it says.
“Described as both a ‘jobs plan’ and an ‘infrastructure plan,’ the proposal undermines both.”
The memo cites reports by the Foundation for Economic Freedom to decry Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” as a “dog’s breakfast of slush funds for [Democrats’] pet projects without any accountability or transparency.”
Senate Republicans also call the proposal a “wish list of non-infrastructure spending” that follows “failed” policies pursued during the administration of President Barack Obama.
And they cite a study by the National Association of Manufacturers that predicts tax hikes that include raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent “would result in less economic activity and 1 million jobs lost in the first two years.”
On Monday, the White House released what it called “state-by-state fact sheets that highlight the urgent need … for the investments proposed by President Biden.”
Each outlines proposed spending on a dozen different categories of “infrastructure” that include “Caregiving,” “Child Care,” “Home Energy” and “Veterans Health.”
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday defended the Biden administration’s new, broader definition of “infrastructure” during an appearance on CNN.
“So, here in Washington folks are getting into this semantic debate,” he said.
“I very much believe that all of these things are infrastructure because infrastructure is the foundation that allows us to go about our lives — but if there are some Republicans who don’t agree with that, we can agree to disagree.”
Buttigieg added, “So, they can call it whatever they like, but we’re asking them to support it because it’s good policy.”
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