Top Republican John Thune claims only 6% of Biden’s bill is actual infrastructure as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg refuses to rule out adding in a path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’ in the package
- South Dakota Sen. John Thune said only 6% of Joe Biden’s package is focused on hard infrastructure despite the president touting it as an infrastructure bill
- ‘If they are interested in roads, bridges, highways and perhaps broadband, then there is a deal to be had there,’ Thune said
- Continued: ‘Infrastructure in the past has always been bipartisan, when it’s confined to infrastructure’
- His claim came as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg refused to rule out the administration adding in a path to citizenship in the bill
- Republicans lament Democrats are trying to squeeze in their pet projects in Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package
- Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tried to redefine infrastructure, claiming ti ‘evolves to meet the American peoples’ aspirations’
The comments come as Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wouldn’t rule out adding in a way to get so-called ‘dreamers’ citizenship in the $2.3 trillion infrastructure package.
‘Infrastructure in the past has always been bipartisan, when it’s confined to infrastructure,’ he continued.
Thune said that Biden’s proposal ‘is a massive expansion of the government.
‘Only about 6% of the president’s proposal actually goes to what the American people – I think everyday Americans – would describe as infrastructure.’
South Dakota Senator John Thune said only 6% of Joe Biden’s package is focused on hard infrastructure despite the president touting it as an infrastructure bill
His claim came as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg refused to rule out the administration adding in a path to citizenship in the bill
Republicans lament Biden’s administration is attempting to redefine infrastructure to include pet projects, including more green initiatives and social welfare measures.
Biden’s team – and other Democrats – argue that the definition of ‘infrastructure’ needs to be expanded to encompass, among other things, rural broadband, elderly care, and universal child care.
‘We can agree to disagree on what to call it — I’m still going to ask you to vote for it,’ Buttigieg told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday morning.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus wants to provide a path to citizenships for those in the U.S. with temporary protected status (TPS) and Obama-era ‘dreamers’, whose fate was up in the air when former President Doanld Trump said he would not honor their special status.
Republicans lament Democrats are trying to squeeze in their pet projects in Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package – rather than including ‘hard’ infrastructure measures to improve roads, bridges and buildings
The caucus also wants the infrastructure package to include citizenship paths for essential workers who are not U.S. citizens.
Although Buttigieg did not rule out the idea, he said a path to citizenship is not currently ‘in the plan that the president’s put forward.
‘I will say that we’re hearing a lot of ideas from across the aisle and from within our caucus on what to do about the pay-fors, different shapes that the infrastructure package and the transportation infrastructure can take,’ Buttigieg told CNN host Jake Tapper.
‘I think you’ll find the president is ready to listen to these ideas that are going to come up, for example, in tomorrow’s meeting,’ he added.
Assuredly adding in any immigration provisions to the package would only further complicate getting any Republican support for the bill.
Biden will meet on Monday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss his infrastructure plan.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also tried to join in on redefining infrastructure on Sunday.
‘What is infrastructure? Historically, it’s been what makes the economy move,’ Granholm told ABC’s ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tried to redefine infrastructure, claiming ti ‘evolves to meet the American peoples’ aspirations’
‘Infrastructure evolves to meet the American peoples’ aspirations – and it’s not static,’ she insisted. ‘We don’t want to use past definitions of infrastructure when we are moving into the future.’
She added: ‘The president wants to negotiate with Republicans and he wants to see a common vision for the future.’
Both Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chris Coons of Delaware, a close friend and longtime colleague of Biden, have expressed their opposition to an infrastructure bill of such magnitude.
Coons even suggested there should be a bill focused solely on ‘hard’ infrastructure bill with a price tag in the hundreds of billions – not few trillions.