A group of Republican recently offered a counter-proposal to Biden’s gargantuan $1.9 trillion dollar infrastructure bill. The counter-bill calls for $468 billion in spending, and the GOP senators who proposed it claim that it is much more focused and targeted toward the country’s real infrastructural needs and that it contains far less cronyist payouts to favored interests.
However, according to reports, it appears that top aides and advisor in the Biden Administration has secretly been in contact with the Republican senators who proposed this alternative bill.
The intent of this communication, apparently, has been to find some measure of common agreement and draft an infrastructure bill that both parties can agree on.
How the Sausage is Made
Among the members of the Biden Administration who have been in regular secret contact with Republican senators on the subject of the infrastructure bill are White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Director of Legislative Affairs Lousia Terrell and Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti.
The Republican senators in solved in these talks and meetings include John Hoeven of North Dakota and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
According to Axios, the group discussed the possibility of splitting the overall infrastructure package into various parts and then hammering out bipartisan agreements on each part, bit by bit. “Part I” of the overall package consists of what might be termed “traditional infrastructure” — that is, things like roads, airports, bridges, and so on. “Part II,” which Republicans are far less enthused about, would contain spending for things like climate change, healthcare and many other typical Democratic wish-list items.
The idea seems to be that a bipartisan agreement on Part I of the bill would still be better than nothing.
The alternative Republican bill, in addition to spending far less, mainly sends the money to the states and has them determine the proper allocation of funding.
Given the many competing and jostling interests at play here, we can safely predict that the resulting bill, whatever it is, will be something that no one is truly happy with. In the nature of things, whatever bill ultimately ends up being passed will involve enormous payouts to various companies tasked with rebuilding infrastructure.
If similar bills that have been passed in the past are any indication, these companies will be almost certain to overcharge the taxpayer and there will be few, if any, effective cost-cutting measures in place.
Alas, this is how the sausage is made.