The House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Friday, putting an end to a months-long deadlock caused by wrangling between the progressive and fiscally conservative wings of the Democratic Party over just how big the president’s accompanying social and climate spending package will be.
Some GOP lawmakers are baying for the blood of their fellow House Republicans after they joined Democrats to pass the president’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.13 of the 213 House Republicans voted ‘yes’ on the new infrastructure spending, sparking allegations of betrayal and threats of primaries in next year’s midterm election.
Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene drew up a list of the black sheep Republicans, accusing them of “hand[ing] over their voting cards to [Democratic House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi to pass Joe Biden’s Communist takeover of America via so-called infrastructure.”
Greene did not specify which part of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes funds for repairs of America’s roads, bridges, utility networks, airports, railroad and public transport infrastructure, half a million new electric vehicle charges, and light-rail, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in major cities, would result in a “Communist takeover”.
Never Trump Republican Adam Kinzinger, one of the congressmen who voted in favour of the bill, shot back, suggesting that equating infrastructure to communism was “a new one” and mocking Greene by suggesting that former Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s “interstate system should be torn up or else the commies will be able to conveniently drive!”
“Also I’m assuming that the ‘Republicans’ being in quotes implies that if you don’t believe in Jewish space lasers, and believe in roads, you aren’t a real Republican,” Kinzinger added, referring to Greene’s controversial 2018 tweet claiming that a space-based laser owned by the Rothschild banking clan may have deliberately caused the wildfires wreaking havoc in California at the time.
Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz echoed Greene’s ideological concerns, tweeting that he couldn’t believe that “Republicans just gave the Democrats their socialism bill.” Arizona Republican congressman Andy Biggs, meanwhile, suggested that “Republicans who voted for the Democrats’ socialist spending bill are the very reason why Americans don’t trust Congress.”
Madison Cawthorn, a freshman House Republican from North Carolina, threatened to “primary the hell out of” any members of his party who votes for the bill.
Colorado GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert branded Republicans who crossed the aisle for the vote on infrastructure ‘Republicans in Name Only’, or RINOs, accusing them of helping Pelosi pass “this wasteful $1.2 trillion ‘infrastructure’ bill” and suggesting that the Democrats “did not have the votes” to pass “this garbage” on their own.
“Time to name names and hold these fake republicans accountable,” Boebert demanded.
Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina expressed concerns over the debt, tweeting “We’re literally $28 trillion in debt and Democrats can’t understand why we want to see how much this bill is going to cost.”
The infrastructure bill passed on Friday night 228 to 206, with six Democrats from the party’s progressive wing who sought more spending for the Build Back Better spending package, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, voting no.
The infrastructure bill now advances to Biden’s desk for final approval. The Senate approved it back in August, voting 69-30, with 19 Republicans voting in favour of the new spending.
The House passed a key procedural vote Saturday morning to line up the passage of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act climate and social spending package, with hopes for its final passage falling apart Friday morning after House moderates announced they would not vote on the spending package until the Congressional Budget Office completes an analysis of its projected long-term impact on the budget deficit. The report is expected to take several days to complete, with the Congress in recess next week.
The BBB agenda includes universal preschool, childcare assistance, four weeks of paid parental, sick and caregiver leave, an expansion of the child tax credit programme, new Medicare assistance, and a whopping $500 billion for climate programmes – chiefly through clean energy tax credits.
The new proposed spending has been praised for its ambitious expansion of the social safety net for tens of millions of Americans, and its plans to accelerate the US’s transition to carbon neutrality. It has also taken heavy flak from fiscal conservatives, however, given its potential to add to America’s already gargantuan national debt, and increase inflation. Democrats have promised that new taxes on the wealthy and corporations would largely cover the spending, with these proposals viewed with skepticism in some corners given billionaires’ notorious ability to evade paying taxes.