November 8, 2021

13 Republicans Win One for Joe Biden

“We took a monumental step forward as a nation,” Biden crowed of his now-passed infrastructure bill.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are among the least popular figures in America right now after a series of national catastrophes that range from rampant inflation and a broken supply chain to a wide-open border and a foreign policy disaster in Afghanistan. They’re reeling after a huge rebuke from voters in Virginia and (to a lesser extent) New Jersey last week. That means now would be a great time for a few Republicans to hand the Biden-Harris administration a big victory, right?

Face, meet palm.

Late Friday night, 13 House Republicans did just that, as they helped Democrats pass Biden’s so-called “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021,” which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost an additional $256 billion over 10 years. Worse, these Republicans rescued Democrats from themselves. Democrats couldn’t pass the bill without Republican help because six far-left radicals voted no. That would be Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. The Leftmedia celebrated the bill’s passage as a great achievement for Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

About that “infrastructure”… In the $1.2 trillion bill, roughly $110 billion has anything to do with roads and brides, hence our continued use of scare quotes around the word infrastructure. The rest of it is things like another big bailout for Amtrak, expanding broadband Internet access, and getting the Green New Deal off the ground, especially with expanding the electrical grid to prepare the way for all those electric vehicles Biden mandated. Overall, the bill also gives far greater authority to the federal government in authorizing transportation money — specifically to Transportation Secretary Pete “Paternity Leave” Buttigieg.

Now that those 13 House Republicans joined their 19 Senate counterparts in helping push through part of Biden’s agenda, it clears the way for the far more controversial Build Back Better bill that greatly expands the cradle-to-grave welfare state. Democrats made a big deal of supposedly paring down that bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. The real cost will be more than twice what’s advertised once all the programs gain a foothold and are inevitably extended beyond the gimmick timeframe of one year, all while tax hikes fail to generate the promised revenue.

The GOP defectors’ strategy was obviously to take whatever infrastructure money they want to tout back home along with “proof” that Washington can still work in a bipartisan way. Some of them are trying to save face by arguing that this will somehow make passing the bigger bill harder because Democrats will fight and claw among themselves over it.

Don’t buy it. Democrats have linked both bills from the get-go; neither would pass without the other. “There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill,” said Pelosi months ago, “unless we have a reconciliation bill.” Infrastructure, said Biden in October, “ain’t going to happen until we reach an agreement on the next piece of legislation.”

These 13 Republicans just greased the skids for the biggest expansion of government since the Great Society. Where was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and why could he not keep his cats herded?

Who are Pelosi’s 13? Don Bacon (NE), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Nicole Malliotakis (NY), David McKinley (WV), Tom Reed (NY), Chris Smith (NJ), Fred Upton (MI), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), and Don Young (AK). In case you’re wondering, Gonzalez, Katko, Kinzinger, and Upton also voted with Pelosi to impeach Donald Trump.

Speaking of Trump, who rarely saw an infrastructure project he didn’t like, he nevertheless slammed these Republicans. “Very sad that the RINOs in the House and Senate gave Biden and Democrats a victory on the ‘Non-Infrastructure’ Bill,” he said in a statement. “Where only 11% of the money being wasted goes to real infrastructure.” He added that Democrats will now “go for the big kill — getting their second $1.9 Trillion Bill (really $5 trillion) approved, again with RINO support.”

The whole thing gave Biden a huge win, perhaps just when he needed it most. “Folks, there’s an awful lot more to say about this,” the president said over the weekend. “But today, I think, is a — it’s just been a good day.” And he owes a huge debt of gratitude to 13 Republicans.

Finally, for the record, as Mark Alexander notes: “While all eyes have been on Biden’s $1.2 trillion so-called ‘infrastructure bill,’ in his first eight months in office, Biden invited more than two million illegal immigrants across what is now, in effect, his open southern border. Given that invasion is on pace to exceed 2.5 million illegal immigrants by the end of this year, conservatively estimating each of those immigrants will cost American tax payers on average $25,000/year for housing, medical expenses, education, enforcement and incarceration, etc., that will cost taxpayers almost as much as his ‘infrastructure bill’ over the same period.”

Corrections: John Katko also voted to impeach Trump. He was originally left out of that ignominious list. And there were 19 Senate Republicans who voted for infrastructure, not 18.

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