The first installment of Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda was delivered Friday evening with the House’s passage of the bipartisan $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill that the Senate had previously passed in August.
Because of the defection of six Democratic members of the House Progressive Caucus over issues related to the much larger and more controversial budget reconciliation spending bill, the infrastructure package could not have passed without at least three Republican votes.
It received 13: Republican Reps. Don Bacon (NE), Don Young (AK), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Fred Upton (MI), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Andrew Garbarino (NY), John Katko (NY), Tom Reed (NY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), and David McKinley (WV) all voted in favor.
Bacon told reporters that he “helped draft this bill,” and to “do a flip” would not have “been right.” He said that even if a Republican contender challenges him in next year’s primary, he is confident he will win re-election.
Malliotakis insisted “from the start” that the infrastructure bill be “delinked” from any social spending package. She insisted that the infrastructure bill is “entirely separate” from the budget reconciliation. She overlooks that the separation is why the hardcore socialist Democrat members were withholding support from Pelosi. Now that tension has been eased as a result of the Republican votes.
Alicia Acuna is a senior correspondent with Fox News and warned Americans that the Republican-assisted passage of the infrastructure bill is “getting us used to some big numbers.” She said it would be interesting to see if voters remember this vote when midterm elections come around next year, especially since we are likely to see even larger spending packages passed in the meantime.
Acuna said that Republicans “had a moment where Democrats were “really just beating the heck out of each other,” and now the 13 Republicans who handed them a legislative win have “stirred up a hornet’s nest in their party.”
She lamented the loss of the situation where Republicans could have let Democrats “take care of things themselves,” referring to their in-fighting and poor showing in last Tuesday’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Acuna added that she fears Americans becoming accustomed to spending that involves “eye-popping numbers” that no longer impact voting decisions.