We Can Do Better

One of the most vital needs for our country is strong and modern infrastructure. To me, this should include things like roads, bridges, railways, waterways, and broadband. The Biden administration’s definition of infrastructure is expansive, and the recently announced American Jobs Plan is proving to be an attempt by the Democrats to brand their partisan wish list as “infrastructure.”

This massive $2 trillion plan contains dozens of unnecessary items that do not improve infrastructure as much as they further the Democrats’ partisan agenda. In fact, non-infrastructure items make up most of President Biden’s plan. Among these items is $213 billion towards retrofitting affordable housing, $174 billion towards electric vehicles, and $10 billion towards the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps. I believe that it is important to be able to discuss and debate these proposals, but they should not be hastily included in such a significant infrastructure bill.

While unrelated, partisan programs have become a focal point of the plan, many necessary improvements to traditional infrastructure have taken a back seat. Less than 6% of the plan’s $2 trillion price tag will go towards improvements to roads and bridges and less than 2% towards waterways, dams, and airports. I am also concerned by the lack of investment in broadband, as less than 5% of this plan will go towards funding broadband expansion.

Right here in the 4th district, many folks in our rural communities lack access to a high-quality broadband connection. The last 12 months have shown us that high speed internet connection is crucial to keeping businesses running and educating our children, and Congress should be committed to ensuring that all of us have adequate access to high speed internet. While the Biden administration promises significant improvements to infrastructure, I am concerned that many critical projects like broadband are being underfunded while we spend billions of dollars on non-infrastructure items.

The truth is, the American Jobs Plan is about partisan politics, not infrastructure. The Biden administration recently stopped several infrastructure projects, like the Keystone pipeline and border wall construction, because of partisan pressure. Not only did these projects promise to improve our national security and energy independence, but they would have provided thousands of jobs for hard-working Americans.

We need a targeted plan that improves our nation’s infrastructure, not a broad and partisan proposal that wastes trillions of dollars of taxpayer money on unrelated matters. If the Democrats follow the same procedures that they did with the stimulus bill a few months ago, I do not see myself supporting this legislation.

It’s time to move past partisan politics and find solutions that benefit the American people. I am committed to working with those on both sides of the aisle to find common-sense solutions to our country’s greatest challenges, but I am strongly opposed to any attempt to throw partisan items into legislation this crucial to America’s future.

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