Sen. Lankford to Newsmax: CARES Act Funds No Solution for Infrastructure Debt

Repurposing money allocated from last year’s pandemic-fueled CARES Act for use in this year’s bipartisan infrastructure act won’t mean that the nation won’t still have a massive debt to repay, Sen. James Lankford warned on Newsmax Wednesday. 

“Our grandchildren will pay for this massive, massive bill,” the Oklahoma Republican said on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America,” pointing out that about half of the proposed $1 trillion bill hasn’t yet been funded and there has been talk about using the unspent money from the CARES Act to help with that. 

“The problem is that the CARES Act funds also weren’t paid for,” said Lankford. “That was an actual emergency that was going on where we had to do some debt spending. This is not an emergency … only $110 billion of this bill actually pays for real infrastructure, bridges, roads, things like that.”

Meanwhile, progressive House Democrats are saying that the party won’t back the bill at all unless a separate $3.5 trillion package advances that includes non-traditional infrastructure like free college and childcare programs, and Lankford said such things are what happens when Democrats take over control of Congress. 

But under former President Donald Trump and with Republicans holding the House and the Senate, “we did the largest tax decrease in American history, stimulated the economy with a tremendous number of jobs, and that helped push what happened in our economy in 2019 and early 2020,” said Lankford. 

“When Democrats get control, they want to do the largest tax increase in history, and they want to do total redistribution of wealth instead of actually encouraging people to get jobs like we had encouraged before,” Lankford continued. “They’re encouraging people to stay home and we’ll just send you money for random projects … the best way to help people rise out of poverty is a job. To be able to do that, it’s also best for their family. It’s best for their kids. It’s best for the nation as a whole. Let’s do that rather than just the redistribution of wealth, which is what the Democrats are trying to be able to push now.”

Also on Wednesday, Lankford discussed reports that migrants from other places besides Mexico and Central America join in the hundreds of thousands of people coming across the U.S. border. 

“Every single month, the numbers go up,” said Lankford. “March was a record number, beaten by April, beaten by May, beaten by June, now beaten by July. Even the Department of Homeland Security has now had to admit in public filings that they had to do in a court case last week that this year looks like it will be the highest number of illegal crossings in the history of keeping records. So this is an absolute catastrophe that’s happened.”

He also denied the Biden administration’s claims that the root cause of the border situation is because of situations in Central America and blamed the cause on President Joe Biden’s policies themselves. 

“This has become really absurd,” said Lankford. “The American people have not moved on from this, though the national media has moved on to it because the American people really see what’s going on on the border. It’s open and we have a rolling crisis happening.”