Could an Infrastructure Deal Still Fall Apart?

Just as the White House and Congress seemed on track to get the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed this week, with a framework on the one-party social spending bill to clear the way, progressives are now saying that’s not good enough. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who leads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, says both need to be voted on at the same time.

Once again, the left is holding infrastructure hostage. That’s too bad, since there is agreement in Washington that the bipartisan plan should pass. That’s why more than one-third of Senate Republicans — including Minority Leader McConnell and the ranking members of the Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Finance committees — voted to pass the bill in August.

And the GOP supporters were not just centrists, but also conservatives. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said the bill “will help us maintain that advantage and improve the quality of life for families, businesses, and farmers,” Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) said the bill “makes investments in traditional, hard infrastructure projects” and “does not raise taxes,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said the nation’s infrastructure “is a worthwhile investment we can’t afford to ignore,” and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) said the bill “makes long-awaited investments to rebuild and develop our nation’s core infrastructure.”

Around 15 House Republicans had initially been expected to back the bill, but the relinking of it to the Democratic-only social spending reconciliation bill has led some of them to reconsider. With 28 voting GOP representatives in the Problem Solvers Caucus, there are others who could be sympathetic to the legislation.

On its own merits, the bill is a commonsense plan that has broad appeal to both parties. It deserves an immediate vote.

 

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