WCA concludes bipartite deals, slowing push for Dem infrastructure
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said Thursday that a bipartisan infrastructure package is unlikely to do much to help poor communities, raising more doubts about the future of a proposal backed by more of 20 moderate senators.
âUsually… When these bipartite agreements come together, they tend to under-serve already underserved communities,â Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC. âNot only are these communities left behind and excluded from these bipartite agreements. , but corporate interests are also focused on these agreements. “
The nearly $ 1 trillion framework endorsed by 11 Republicans, nine Democrats and Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, who caucus with Democrats, would call for around $ 579 billion in new spending, including $ 110 billion for roads and highways, $ 66 billion for rail passengers and freight, and $ 48 billion for public transit. An additional $ 47 billion would go to climate change efforts and there is money for electric vehicle charging stations.
The compromise plan would be paid in part by tapping into $ 120 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief money and $ 315 billion from the paycheck protection program, created to help businesses pay workers during shutdowns of coronavirus. A debate rages on whether the rest would be paid by raising taxes on gasoline by tying future increases to inflation. Democrats oppose the idea, while Republicans are adamant that the legislation will not be paid for by tax increases on corporations or wealthy Americans.
The amount of Republican support for the cadre suggests the proposal could receive the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. However, Ocasio-Cortez has previously warned that an infrastructure bill that does not sufficiently address climate change cannot count on universal Democratic support in the House, where the president’s party holds a slim majority.
The Democratic Socialist echoed the criticism on Thursday, saying her fellow Democrats should ask, “Are we making the deal that helps workers the most?” Are we getting the deal that creates the most jobs? Are we making a deal that cuts climate emissions the most? Do we make a deal that increases wages and actually improves our infrastructure for the next generation? “
“If a bipartisan deal absorbs billions of dollars in bridges to nowhere because people feel good, then that will be a huge concern,” the MP added. “We have to make sure that we create economic opportunities for the people who are ignored in this country.”
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are working on a sweeping $ 6 trillion plan that would go beyond traditional infrastructure to include far-left priorities such as lowering the age of eligibility for health insurance at age 60 and the addition of dental, visual and hearing benefits. The measure would also incorporate a long-term effort to provide legal status to some immigrants, including âdreamersâ.
While Senate Democrats could theoretically use the parliamentary reconciliation bet to pass such a measure with 51 votes (Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, if necessary), the wild card, as usual, is the Senator. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), who supports the Compromise Framework, backed down from Biden’s initial proposal and said he would not support an infrastructure bill that does not have a bipartisan contribution.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Made it clear on Thursday that there would almost certainly be a second Democrats’ bill whether or not a deal goes through. She also criticized efforts to increase the gasoline tax.
âI don’t think the American people, American working families, should foot the bill for the roads and bridges and the rest that America’s richest people and businesses use,â she said.
With post wires