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GOP Senator Unable to Explain His Opposition to Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

President Joe Biden’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure package passed the United States Senate with bipartisan support, but the coalition of 19 Republicans who joined all 50 Democrats did not include Wyoming’s senior Senator John Barrasso, who on Monday appeared on Fox News and failed to adequately explain to anchor Chris Wallace why he voted no critical legislation that would have helped his state.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Barrasso:

Well, what we’re seeing is like watching an episode of the ‘Twilight Zone.’ I thought Joe Biden went to the Hill on Friday to try to get that bipartisan infrastructure bill passed and instead he surrendered to the radical wing of his party and now you have this big government socialism reckless spending bill being basically used to hold hostage the things that the American people want are roads and bridges, highways, all of those things. When that bipartisan bill passed a 50/50 Senate, it had 69 votes. It was a lot of momentum on its side. In any kind of a normal world, that would’ve been signed into law by the president. This was two months ago. This was before Afghanistan, when the president lost a lot of political muscle. Now we’re at a point where the president is weak and really [Vermont Independent Senator] Bernie Sanders, the far left Democrats are driving the bus and Joe Biden is just along for the ride.

Wallace:

Well, let’s talk about politics on both sides, though. As you point out, 19 of your fellow Republican Senators voted for the bipartisan infrastructure plan in the Senate. You didn’t. You called for the reconciliation bill a freight train to socialism. You and all of the Republicans are refusing the normal course, bipartisan passage of raising the debt limit. So I guess the question to you and a lot of Republicans is, are you viewing these issues on the merits or are you just playing partisan politics?

Barrasso’s excuse was that his “nay” vote was overruled by the majority anyway, so who cares:

Well, I think the American people want the sort of things that are in that bipartisan bill, roads, bridges, ports, airports, all of those things are important. I had some concerns with some of the gimmicks that were used to fund it. I thought it spent too much. There were some issues that I didn’t like in terms of – I thought it was going to make energy more expensive and undermine our grid. But look, you have a 50/50 Senate. 69 votes is a big number of votes to support something.

Barrasso also mixed up the infrastructure legislation with Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better spending bill:

But on this $3.5 trillion infrastructure proposal that the Democrats are focusing on right now with trillions of dollars of increased taxes and trillions of dollars of increased debt, every Republican is united against it. We’re a party that wants to grow the economy. The Democrats are a party that want to grow the government. And you heard it right there. They’re continuing to try to mislead the public by saying it is free. It is not free. They said, oh, inflation – Cedric said, oh, inflation will go down. Inflation – people are feeling the bite of inflation right now when they buy groceries, when they buy gas, all of those things. And they think if this stuff passes, this massive spending and tax bill, that inflation is going to get much worse.

Recall, however, that Barrasso and his Republican confederates had no problem whatsoever with handing over galactic-scale tax cuts to the rich and giant corporations, which added trillions of dollars to the national debt and exploded the budget deficit. Republicans had no intention of paying for them either, as evidenced by their current opposition to raising the debt ceiling.

Watch below via Crooks and Liars:



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