Douglas Andrews / July 1, 2021

The Left’s Covert War on the Suburbs

Buried within Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure bill is a scheme to wreck the suburbs.

There’s been a lot of talk about “infrastructure” these days — and certain Republicans would like you to believe they’re driving a hard bargain with the Biden administration.

Don’t believe it. At least not yet.

Oh, sure, they’ve hacked away at the sheer size of this progressive wish list, slashing it from an unconscionable $2.3 trillion to a merely awful $1.2 trillion. And they’ve also pushed back against the Democrats’ penchant for calling everything “infrastructure,” from green energy to care for the elderly to “housing justice.” As a result, the bill is more focused on commonly understood “hard infrastructure” items, such as roads, bridges, ports, and airports, as well as broadband Internet. But the bill still includes some serious mischief. Buried deep within the Biden administration’s nearly 12,000-word “fact sheet” is the following language:

The President’s plan invests $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live. It pairs this investment with an innovative new approach to eliminate state and local exclusionary zoning laws, which drive up the cost of construction and keep families from moving to neighborhoods with more opportunities for them and their kids. The President’s plan will help address the growing cost of rent and create jobs that pay prevailing wages, including through project labor agreements with a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively.

“Exclusionary zoning laws,” eh, Joe? You mean the kind that keeps cheap, multi-unit housing from being built in the middle of nice Northern Virginia neighborhoods like those where members of your administration live?

And then, further down, the word “zoning” appears again, and the scheme starts to come into focus. Biden is calling on Congress to:

Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. For decades, exclusionary zoning laws — like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements, and prohibitions on multifamily housing — have inflated housing and construction costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities. President Biden is calling on Congress to enact an innovative, new competitive grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take concrete steps to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing.

What Biden’s hard-left handlers want to do is wreck the suburbs by forcing together groups of people who wouldn’t naturally come together. Do-gooding Democrats flirted with this sort of social engineering in the ‘70s. Back then it was forced busing, and it was a miserable and traumatic failure.

(Go ahead — ask Kamala Harris and Joe Biden about busing.)

“It is not apparent to me,” writes Scott Johnson at Power Line, “whether this proposal is a part of the so-called compromise [in] which 'some of the details remain to be ironed out.’” Instead, he concludes, “This one needs to be ironed right out of the bill.”

That it does. Nearly a year ago, we called your attention to the Trump administration’s cancellation of a similar Obama-era scheme with a sweet-sounding name. As then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson said at the time: “President Donald Trump and I agree that the best run communities are the ones run locally. Today, we are tearing down the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which was an overreach of unelected Washington bureaucrats into local communities. The AFFH rule was a ruse for social engineering under the guise of desegregation, essentially turning HUD into a national zoning board.”

Earlier this week, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson looked into the Biden administration’s War on the Suburbs, noting that it’s a major part of the infrastructure plan now being considered by the Senate:

“The goal isn’t to eliminate racism,” said Carlson. “The goal is to eliminate suburbs. So rather than improve the lives of people who live in crappy places, the idea is to destroy the lives of people who live in nice places.”

Clearly, there’s a Trojan Horse inside Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure plan, and he and his handlers hope the GOP isn’t paying close attention. If you care about the notion of traditional neighborhoods and suburbs, call your congressmen and senators and give them an earful.

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