AOC Insists: No Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan without $3.5T Partisan Spending Bill
MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insisted on Sunday that the House of Representatives should not pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill without a much larger partisan spending package, claiming she and progressive allies had "more than enough" votes to kill the former unless the latter are also passed.
The comments also contradict any suggestion that the two bills could be examined separately, as some Republican negotiators had hoped.
The previous bill, an approximately $ 1 trillion version of the original $ 4 trillion plan proposed by President Biden as part of his "Build Back Better" agenda, includes provisions for transportation, broadband internet, and drinking water systems. The latter costs $ 3.5 trillion and would fund many of the Biden government's national legislative priorities, namely climate change, health care, and family service programs.
"At the beginning of this process it was made very clear that this bipartisan deal, if it survives the Senate at all, has the only chance of getting the House of Representatives passed if the House passes the Senate Act and the Senate passes the Representatives Act, largely in reconciliation takes place, ”said AOC on CNN's State of the Union.
The Senate recently voted on a procedural motion to promote the bipartisan agreement, which opens the chamber to open a debate and draft amendments. A final text for the 2,000-word document is expected to be published on Sunday.
“We can't have just one body that drives the entire legislative agenda in the country and, frankly, 20 senators on that one body. We need a reconciliation bill. . . if we want this bipartisan law passed, ”added AOC. “Vote” refers to the larger package; specifically on the process that Democrats want to use to get a simple majority vote.
When moderator Jake Tapper asked if she would vote for the bipartisan law, the Democratic representative replied, “We have to stick to this agreement. If there is no reconciliation law in the House of Representatives and the Senate does not pass the reconciliation law, we will uphold our end of the bargain and not pass the bipartisan law until we have received all of these investments. "
Legislators said the "deal" is to pass the reconciliation bill for the passage of the infrastructure bill, adding that the number of lawmakers who will assist her in making this call is in "double digits". When asked if it was enough to prevent the bipartisan bill from being passed, she said it was "more than enough". The future of these two packages remains in the dark as it is not clear whether the Democrats on the Senate side would stick together on the partisan plan that the Republicans are rejecting.
AOC also said it found some of the allocations in the bipartisan agreement "alarming", particularly those related to the privatization of public infrastructure and toll roads.
“The leasing of public infrastructure to private companies is very worrying and should affect every American. We really need to see this language. . . . Non-partisan does not mean that it is always in the interest of the public good. Sometimes some of these bills include a lot of corporate lobbyist freebies, ”she noted.
AOC recently criticized Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema for criticizing the enormous price of the reconciliation law. The Squad member's comments were in line with House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi last week when she said she would refuse to negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure deal unless the Senate pushes the partisan policy proposal through reconciliation.
President Biden threatened to veto the bipartisan agreement unless the Reconciliation Act was also passed but withdrawn after criticism from Republican lawmakers.
More from National Review
White House has "informal talks" with Republicans about the second infrastructure package
Manchin only supports Democrat “Infrastructure” law and says talks are ongoing about the price tag
Sinema comes out against $ 3.5 trillion partisan spending plan
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