There’s an important difference in the kind of infrastructure projects that Republicans support and the kind of “infrastructure” projects that Democrats support.
Republicans recognize the importance of providing funding for things like roads, bridges, highways, waterways, ports, airports, and for rural broadband.
Unfortunately, Democrats “infrastructure” plan focuses less on those common sense projects, and more on enacting Green New Deal style programs, offering giveaways to their political allies, and implementing dangerous tax hikes that will hurt the middle class and destroy jobs.
For Republicans, it’s about passing legislation that will strengthen our nation’s infrastructure. Democrats want to use the word “infrastructure” as a guise to push their dangerous policy agenda while claiming that everything is “infrastructure.”
If Democrats were willing to put that dangerous agenda aside and work to compromise on the things that both parties agree we need, there could be a bipartisan bill. Yesterday, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Davis published a joint op-ed in Morning Consult detailing how Republicans are committed to finding common ground if Democrats are willing to meet halfway:
- Morning Consult (Reps. Graves & Davis): “Bipartisanship on Infrastructure Is Possible Unless It’s ‘My Way or the Highway’”
- Speaking from our experience, we can verify that reaching agreement remains possible. It simply requires a recognition from both sides that the other’s priorities must be considered in good faith, and a realization that nobody gets everything they want.
- One is that we must be responsible with the taxpayers’ money. Over the last year, Congress has dedicated nearly $6 trillion to combating the COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts. Nobody questions that there was a unique need to act. However, no one should now question our concerns about potentially adding trillions more to our tab without finding ways to pay for it that won’t grow the deficit or implement the largest job-crushing tax increase in decades.
- In addition, we cannot lose sight of what a highway bill should do: improve our critical transportation network. As such, any transportation bill we would support must prioritize core infrastructure, including fixing and building roads and bridges, and making this infrastructure more resilient. It cannot be a thinly veiled climate bill or another Green New Deal. Republicans can support a highway bill that helps reduce transportation’s impacts on the environment, but fundamentally it must still be a transportation bill.
- We all share the goal of improving our infrastructure, so let’s work together on something that promotes broadly supported solutions rather than ideologically driven, one-size-fits-all policies.