The Senate has passed President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, now expected to cost more than $1.2 trillion. The substantial second portion is sure to follow soon as a budget reconciliation measure. While 18 Republican Senators voted for the bill on the premise that it is for “real” infrastructure, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) is not convinced.
Kennedy appeared on the Fox News show “The Ingraham Angle” on August 9 to discuss the bill. He said that he was a likely “yes” vote early on because he believes in fundamental infrastructure, as almost all Americans do before deciding against the bill.
He said that he realized it was something different when he finally received a copy of the bill. He found that only 23 percent of the bill’s spending is on solid infrastructure, and the rest is “green new deal and welfare.”
Kennedy pointed out that the Senate had been told that the bill was paid for, when in fact, it is not. The bill will require up to $400 billion of additional borrowing and will result in tax increases. The senator stated that his state would have at least $1.3 billion in new taxes on its petroleum and chemical industries alone.
He lamented the coming of the following bill that he called a “five trillion dollar tax and spending binge” reconciliation act. He said that previous Republican statements that passing the first bill would somehow be a strategic play against the second bill seemed implausible now. He also argued that the first bill would increase inflation despite contrary promises.
Kennedy also appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on August 10, calling the bill “real swam stuff.” He said he was disappointed that Republicans are continuing to find “new ways to lose” and that calling the bill an infrastructure bill was like “calling Anthony Weiner a saint.”