June 29, 2020 — In a meeting of the House Rules Committee, Republicans said that even if the INVEST in America Act passed in the House, it would be dead on arrival in the Senate.
The bill provides nearly $500 billion in funding for transportation infrastructure and broadband construction.
Calling it a “Democratic wish list,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said that the bill was unrealistic.
“This is an enormously expensive list of projects without any basis in reality or even any indication that this covers what our national infrastructure needs really are,” he said. “I remind this Committee that this bill is ultimately going nowhere. It will not be passed by the senate, and the President will not sign it.”
Republicans said that the bill focused too heavily on fulfilling the values of the Green New Deal, a proposed environmental policy that many conservatives believe is too expansive and not sufficiently cost-effective.
“We could find bipartisan solutions, but the majority would rather pay lip service to the Green New Deal than rebuild our infrastructure for the American people,” said Ron Estes, R-Kan.
Other criticisms of the bill included its price, but Democratic members of the Committee said that President Donald Trump himself had driven up the cost of the bill to near $2 trillion.
“Last March, we went down to the White House and met with the President, and he bid us up to $2 trillion for infrastructure, which we could productively spend,” said Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. “And it was roads, bridges, transit, rail, wastewater, drinking water and yes, broadband. That was the package the President agreed to.”
Republicans still criticized the bill’s cost and effectiveness, pointing out that the President never formally announced his support.
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said that conservatives would be willing to support the bill if it better aligned with their values.
“Given how this bill was hijacked by the Speaker’s partisan agenda, we’re being set up for more temporary extensions instead of legislating,” he said.
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