Politics Democrats torch the 2-page GOP infrastructure blueprint as 'a slap in the face' and 'a joke'

01:25  23 april  2021
01:25  23 april  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | House GOP's planned environmental bills drop Democratic priorities | Advocates optimistic Biden infrastructure plan is a step toward sustainability

  OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | House GOP's planned environmental bills drop Democratic priorities | Advocates optimistic Biden infrastructure plan is a step toward sustainability IT'S MONDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at President Biden's meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure, a forthcoming GOP climate package and ways in which advocates are hoping the infrastructure package contributes to sustainability.

Senate Democrats have already rebuffed the GOP ’s counterproposal to President Joe Biden’s $ 2 .25 trillion infrastructure package, despite not seeing any details on the impending offer. The Democratic pushback indicates yet another legislative hurdle for the president, as Biden recently signaled that he would work with Republicans on carving a bipartisan infrastructure bill after meeting with members of both sides of the aisle at the White House on Monday. Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.

Democrats argue that the GOP plan to spend fewer than trillion and focus on brick and mortar infrastructure is a non-starter and is not the basis for bipartisan negotiations. She is part of a separate group of bipartisan lawmakers who are meeting Wednesday for lunch and are expected to discuss the proposal then. The proposal comes as Senate Democrats , including Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close Biden ally, have suggested Biden’s infrastructure proposal be separated into two bills: one that can pass with bipartisan support and the second with only Democratic support.

Ron Wyden wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images © Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Democrats assailed the two-page GOP infrastructure blueprint, calling it too meager.
  • One Democratic senator said the GOP was "light years" away from their position.
  • The prospect of a short-term breakthrough on infrastructure appeared scant.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Democrats had scathing assessments for the two-page Republican infrastructure outline released on Thursday, an early sign that a bipartisan deal was far from being struck on one of President Joe Biden's top economic priorities.

GOP to present their own smaller $650 billion infrastructure proposal

  GOP to present their own smaller $650 billion infrastructure proposal Many GOP members have criticized Biden's bill for including in-home care, climate change, and housing under a plan meant to focus on 'infrastructure'Many GOP members have criticized Biden's bill for including in-home care, climate change, and housing under a plan meant to focus on 'infrastructure.

Maxine Waters, D-Calif., for telling protesters in Minnesota to get more "confrontational" if a jury finds former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin not guilty in the death of George Floyd. The House voted 216-210 along party lines to table a Republican motion to censure the California Democrat . "Maxine Waters believes there is value in violence," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said Waters' past comments calling for protesters to be confrontational to Trump administration officials showed a "pattern" that "needs action" from lawmakers. Democrats had been dismissive of the effort

Senate Republicans released a 8 billion infrastructure framework on Thursday intended as a counteroffer to President Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal, a plan about a quarter of the size of the one Democrats are working on. It's also significantly more narrow, focused primarily on transportation infrastructure , along with some other items like broadband and water projects. And the plan the GOP released Thursday still is vague on one of the most important questions: how they propose to pay for the spending.

A group of Senate Republicans led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia had unveiled the $568 billion infrastructure blueprint that was less a detailed plan than a two-page outline of principles. It amounted to about a quarter of Biden's proposed $2.3 trillion stimulus spending.

The GOP plan would spread out new spending over a five-year period, largely paid for with user-fees. It included no corporate tax hike, and set aside over half of its funding on to repair roads, highways, and bridges. Capito called it "a robust package" at a news conference.

But some Democrats sharply disagree - and they torched the plan as too meager to deal with the dual crises of climate change and economic inequality.

"I think this Republican proposal is light years out of the ballpark in terms of being able to get a bipartisan compromise," Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said on a press call. "They really dump it all on the backs of middle-class workers."

Local governments need long overdue infrastructure funding

  Local governments need long overdue infrastructure funding If we can land a drone on the surface of Mars, we can focus that same level of ingenuity and technology to work for smarter and more technologically advanced infrastructure that creates more equitable, livable, and resilient communities. Marc Ott is the CEO and executive director of the International City/County Management Association and former City Manager of Austin, Texas.

He knows that mainstream Democratic economic policies are very popular and beneficial for the people in his state, which is why he is one of us. He also knows that his largely red constituency have a (unreasonable) fear of “woke socialists”. So him being attacked by the rest of us calms that fear down while the treasures he brings back to his state are appreciated by his constituents. So maybe by winning the Senate only narrowly and as a result implementing pragmatic but progressive legislation, we've set ourselves up nicely for the '22 midterms.

Numerous congressional Democrats criticized President Trump Wednesday for awarding the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh during the State of the Union address the previous evening.

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania pointed to the Republican plan slashing the $400 billion in-home elder care component of Biden's infrastructure plan, calling it a "terrible insult" to average workers.

"When they eliminate every penny for that investment, that's a slap in the face to not just older Americans and people with disabilities, millions of families would need this care over the next number of years," he told reporters on the same press call.

Democratic opposition to the plan appeared to run deep, and aides said they were skeptical of Republican seriousness on cutting a deal. Insider granted anonymity to two aides so they could speak candidly.

"Having a two-pager with four bullets on four [revenue] raisers, I don't think it's very serious," one Democratic aide said, referring to the GOP plan.

"It doesn't do anything on climate, which is non-negotiable for our caucus," the aide said. "We can't let a decade go by without doing more substantial on climate."

Biden to talk infrastructure with bipartisan lawmakers as GOP signals support for smaller bill

  Biden to talk infrastructure with bipartisan lawmakers as GOP signals support for smaller bill President Joe Biden will meet with members of Congress from both parties about his infrastructure bill as Republicans back a smaller proposal.Biden aims to approve a package in the coming months that revamps U.S. roads, bridges, airports, broadband, housing and utilities, and invests in job training along with care for elderly and disabled Americans. Republicans have signaled they could support a scaled back bill based around transportation, broadband and water systems.

Until this past weekend, Democrats were headed for a hostile takeover by a candidate with only about 30 percent support in the party, Bernie Sanders. It was eerily similar to Trump’s path to the Republican nomination in 2016. When it was all over, Trump won the nomination after winning about 45 percent of the primary vote. On the Democratic side in 2016, meanwhile, Sanders won 43 percent of the vote but still lost to Hillary Clinton, the only other major candidate in the race. Sanders watched what happened when Trump took on a crowded field and saw a path to the nomination for himself in 2020.

Democrats are offering President Donald Trump's rural supporters a reason to turn against him in 2020 — his failure to bring them the high-speed internet he promised. Several presidential candidates including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have rolled out proposals for tens of Trump’s challengers also say the slow internet speeds that prevail in much of the nation are a drag on the economy and a threat to U.S. competitiveness. “I see that the country of Iceland has all hooked up, and we’re not,” Democratic hopeful Amy Klobuchar told POLITICO when asked about Trump’s record.

"It's a joke," another Democratic aide said. "Their number is so low and achieves so few of the things even they agree are important. It's not remotely in the ballpark of what is serious."

A spokesperson for Capito did not respond to a request for comment. The office of Sen. Roger Wicker, another co-author of the GOP blueprint, declined to comment.

The plan set the stage for additional talks, though it was unclear how disagreements over revenue sources and the plan's size would be bridged.

The White House said on Thursday it was ready to kick off negotiations with the group of Senate Republicans on an infrastructure plan. The GOP proposal drew Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's approval earlier in the day.

"The president has said from the beginning he would welcome any good faith effort to find common ground because the only unacceptable step would be inaction," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

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Joe Manchin urges Biden to focus on 'conventional' infrastructure .
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, an influential Democrat, called for focusing on 'conventional' infrastructure and suggested splitting off parts of Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion plan.‘What we think the greatest need we have now, that can be done in a bipartisan way, is conventional infrastructure whether it's the water, sewer, roads, bridges, Internet — things that we know need to be repaired, be fixed,’ the influential West Virginia Democrat said at a press conference Friday.

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This is interesting!