Praise for House passage of bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, criticism for excess tax and spend legislation
Far from a being a partisan one-man effort, the recent passage of the infrastructure bill was a much needed bi-partisan effort. Contrary to the recent Democrat press release distributed locally, 19 Senate and 13 House Republicans were key to making passage a reality — especially in the U.S. Senate where 60 votes were needed and it passed 69-30.
Republican Members have rightly issued balanced statements in recent days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by a bipartisan vote of 228-206.
The bipartisan bill, which Senators Romney of Utah and Portman of Ohio played lead roles in crafting, represents a long overdue investment in our nation’s core infrastructure.
Republicans have also properly criticized the second bill advanced by the House, President Biden’s massive tax and spend proposal of $3.5 trillion that everyone has already agreed to cut in half as it was such an outrageous proposal. That bill is proceeding under a very partisan process called reconciliation unlike the just passed infrastructure bill.
But it will likely pass at a much reduced level in the coming weeks but retain important provisions for the territories on Medicaid and hospital funds and bipartisan work will insure that and that’s what the seniority of our Member of congress has experience in, both the majority and minority and friends on both sides of the aisle as everyone knows the bell swings both ways.
America’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and a bipartisan Congress passed common sense improvements for future generations: not just roads and water and sewers which are important but $65 billion for broadband build out –portions of those and other funds will reach American Samoa enabling our people to engage in the next era of the economy where our remote location will not be a handicap as long as we have equal access to web 3.0; the next generation internet and access to the digital economy that will be transforming the region and world in the next 5-10 years.
Nineteen Senate Republicans and 13 Republican House Members (and two territory members — Puerto Rico and AS) supported and improved the bill for their areas. The disappointment is that it took the House of Representatives nearly three months and several failed elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York to get the Democrats to finally get around to passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – this could have been passed months ago and jobs and contracts already in place. However, the radical left wing of the Democratic party, “the squad” failed to support this effort. Even a Democrat President as lauded by our local Democrat counterparts could do nothing without Republican support.
But following bipartisan passage in the House and Senate, it is pleasing to see that this historic legislation is now ready for the president’s signature.
While some Democrats have tried to tie this bipartisan infrastructure bill to the partisan reconciliation bill, which I and many strongly oppose due to many of its useless socialist content. In the end, this important scaled down legislation passed on its own, with Republican support.
The infrastructure bill will make our economy more efficient and make us more productive and competitive against other countries like China. Importantly, by making long-term investments in capital assets, it is counter-inflationary at a time when inflation remains a serious concern for American families.
Nationwide, it represents a historic $542 billion investment in the roads, bridges, ports, waterways, railroads, electrical grids, broadband networks, and more with over $100 million in various funds to American Samoa. It will create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs, and it does all of this without raising taxes locally.
Unfortunately, the House is continuing to advance a reckless tax and spending bill that is estimated to cost nearly $4 trillion and will raise taxes in order to try and pay for it. All it is doing is increasing inflation which hurts the poor people in our territory and nationwide. You are seeing it in the price of food, fuel, shipping, and basics, which our people need but may well soon cannot afford.
This is the kind of tax and spend agenda that the American people rejected at the polls last week and we should reject as well.