Casey, Toomey Split on Infrastructure Bill
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
Although the bill passed by a 69-30 vote, in what the New York Times is describing as an “uncommonly bipartisan” fashion, Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey found themselves on opposite ends of the final tally.
Casey voted in favor of the bill and lauded its passage as a “vital… investment in American communities” that is “long overdue,” while Toomey voted against the bill and said it is “‘too expensive, too expansive, and too unpaid for.”
“This vital, bipartisan investment in American communities is long overdue,” Casey said. “Without significant investments in infrastructure for decades, our roads and bridges are crumbling and public transportation is outdated. Too many children and families don’t have access to clean water and both rural and urban communities lack reliable, high-speed internet.”
“Today, the Senate came together and made a substantial investment in our communities and our future,” Casey continued. “We have allocated critical funding to make Pennsylvania roads and bridges safer, expand broadband access and improve public transportation, while tackling the climate crisis by prioritizing electric and clean energy.”
“These investments will support the economic growth of small towns across the Nation, and rural and urban areas alike,” Casey said. “Now, the Senate has to get to work to pass legislation that will meet the needs of American families by investing in home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities, raising wages for home care workers, expanding access to early childhood education and affordable child care, tax cuts for families with kids and paid family and medical leave.”
Today, the Senate came together & made a substantial investment in our communities.
We’ve allocated critical funding to make Pennsylvania roads & bridges safer, expand broadband access & improve public transit while tackling the climate crisis by prioritizing EVs & clean energy. pic.twitter.com/Oet6oUUOMw
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) August 10, 2021
“There is a need to expand and maintain our nation’s real, physical infrastructure, which is why the federal government spends billions on these projects every year,” Toomey said. “But this legislation is too expensive, too expansive, too unpaid for, and too threatening to the innovative cryptocurrency economy.”
“Federal infrastructure spending should be driven by a reasoned assessment of our nation’s needs, but this process was driven by Democratic political imperatives rather than necessity,” Toomey continued. “As a result, much of the bill’s spending on actual infrastructure is excessive – such as the $107 billion for transit even as nearly $40 billion in transit “COVID” money remains unspent. Worse, the bill funnels billions to projects that the private sector has been more than willing to fund, such as ferries, EV charging stations, and the power grid. It also showers taxpayer dollars on items, like Pacific salmon conservation, tree planting, and demolishing “racist” highways, that cannot be considered infrastructure at all.”
“Despite promises this legislation would be entirely paid for, the bill instead adds hundreds of billions to our already staggering deficit when about $1 trillion in unspent ‘COVID relief’ is still available for repurposing,” Toomey said. “This comes on the heels of $4 trillion to combat a pandemic, a $2 trillion liberal wish-list rushed through by Democrats on a partisan basis in March, and the specter of another $3.5 trillion monstrosity that would radically redefine the very role of the federal government in the lives of middle-class Americans. To put this in perspective, Congress could pass over a quarter of our nation’s GDP this year in new spending.”
Toomey went on in his statement to add that the legislation imposes a “badly flawed, and in some cases unworkable, cryptocurrency tax reporting mandate” that he believes “threatens future technological innovation.”
The infrastructure package we voted on today is too expensive, too expansive, and too unpaid for. I could not support it. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/IQPguSdkry
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) August 10, 2021
While the bill passed in a bipartisan matter in the Senate, the New York Times reports that it now “faces a potentially rocky and time-consuming path in the House,” by citing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Progressive Caucus saying they would not vote on it “unless and until the Senate passes a separate, even more ambitious $3.5 trillion social policy bill this fall.”