Infrastructure Roadblock: Republican Senator Single-handedly Delaying the Debate On $1T Bill

Twitter screenshot, Courtesy of Senator Bill Hagerty

Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty has promised to slow down the Democrats victory party for the infrastructure bill that carries a $1T price tag. Given the fact that the bill has the buy-in from 17 GOP senators, the President and his administration are calling this a bi-partisan bill.

“I’m not inclined to expedite this process whatsoever,” Hagerty told reporters after he spoke on the Senate floor Saturday in opposition to the bill.

There are numerous issues with the bill.

First, it is an infrastructure spending bill. But of the $1T, very little of that money ($15%) is going to update existing or create new roads and bridges.

Here is a partial breakdown:

$110B for roads and highways

$65B for broadband development

$55B for water infrastructure

$40B for bridges

$25B for airport projects

$23B for state water

$15B to move lead water lines

Those items account for only 1/3 of the spending bill that 34% of Republicans senators endorsed. So, what is the other $667B being spent on?

The bill allegedly has language allowing the federal government to do things like taxing American motorists for every mile the drive. But one Republican says that isn’t exactly true.

According to other Republicans, the intent is to start the discussion and start amending parts of the bill that they don’t agree with, such as the mileage tax.

According to The Hill:

“‘I just don’t think there’s enough pressure yet. It takes a little while for people to stare at each other and feel a little about the pressure to come to an agreement on amendments,’ said GOP Sen. John Thune (S.D.).

Senators had hoped to vote this week on anywhere between 16 and 25 amendments making potential changes to the bill. Now, in order to get votes on those amendments, they’ll need to cut a deal that can win approval from every senator.

However, Thune said that in order for Democrats to allow votes on amendments, Republicans would have to agree to speed up the bill – something Hagerty is saying he won’t do.

‘The currency we have is time, and it’s going to be up to our members, obviously, whether they’re willing to do that, and then there has to also be an agreement on the universe [of] amendments that could be voted on,’ Thune said about the dynamics of the trade-off.”

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