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Tag: infrastructure bill

McCarthy Falsely Claims Biden Plan Will 'Add $5 Trillion' To Debt

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy falsely claimed on Monday that President Joe Biden's spending plan would add $5 trillion to the national debt. But he has previously acknowledged that it is funded by raising taxes on the rich and corporations.

On Fox News, the California Republican slammed the proposed Build Back Better plan — which would invest about $3.5 trillion in climate change, clean energy, health care, paid leave, child care, and free community college and pre-K — and the $550 billion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act."

McCarthy charged that the bill was funded "by putting a debt onto the next generation of Americans. That's how it's paid for."

When McCarthy was asked whether any Republican would join the Democratic majority in voting to address the debt ceiling and avert a national default, he answered, "There won't be [any]. They [Democrats] want to add another $5 trillion just this week.

"Our debt as we speak today is $28 trillion. We've got about another two to sell and they want to add another five," McCarthy added.

But McCarthy is way off on these numbers.

The cost of the bipartisan infrastructure plan — which passed the Senate 69-30 in August and would invest billions in transportation, water systems, broadband, and electrical grid infrastructure — is at least partially offset by savings and additional revenue. According to a partial analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, more than half of it is paid for.

And Biden has repeatedly promised that the $3.5 trillion plan would be paid for by increasing taxes on corporations and those making $400,000 or more annually. "It adds zero dollars to the national debt," he tweeted on Saturday.

In an April press release denouncing "Biden's radical tax and spend agenda," McCarthy claimed Biden "plans to 'Build Back Better' by growing the government, raising taxes on American families and investments, destroying jobs, and saddling future generations with a massive debt — an agenda that will inevitably crush economic opportunity."


In May, McCarthy accused Biden of "proposing the largest tax increase in American history, including making our corporate tax rate the highest in the world."

The United States added $7.8 trillion to the national debt during former President Donald Trump's time in office — much of it with support from Republicans in Congress. In 2019, McCarthy and a bipartisan House majority opted to suspend the debt limit for the remainder of Trump's term.

The GOP's 2017 tax cut plan, which largely benefited the wealthiest Americans, increased the same budget shortfalls by severely cutting tax revenue. In 2018, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the Republican tax cuts would add roughly $1.9 trillion to the federal deficit between 2018 and 2028.

"In 2017, Republicans lowered taxes & let you keep more of your own money," McCarthy tweeted earlier this month. "Now, Democrats want to take America backward. They are going to vote to raise your taxes so they can spend more on socialist pet projects."

The proposed debt limit increase is not about paying for the new plans; it is needed to allow the government to pay for the commitments made already by this and previous Congresses and for the interest on the debt already accrued.

According to a recent report from Moody's Analytics, failure to address the debt ceiling could cost the nation's economy up to 6 million jobs, reduce household wealth by nearly $15 trillion, and increase the unemployment rate from five percent to nine percent.

A McCarthy spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Vote As Congress Begins Critical Week

Washington (AFP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence a massive infrastructure bill will pass this week but acknowledged it would not get a Monday vote as planned, with fellow Democrats warning critical work remains to meet the party's deadlines.

Democrats have been scrambling to hammer out a landmark plan to upgrade the nation's roads and bridges, but are also under immense pressure to finalize a $3.5 trillion public investment package and fund the government to avert a looming shutdown -- all by September 30.

The week is among the most critical of President Joe Biden's tenure, with opposition Republicans digging in against his Build Back Better program that would invest in climate change policy, lower childcare and education costs for working families and create millions of jobs.

But Pelosi, despite her confidence that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that has already cleared the Senate with bipartisan support will pass the House of Representatives "this week," hinted at potential quicksand ahead.

"I'm never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes," the top Democrat in Congress told ABC Sunday talk show This Week, asked whether she will bring the infrastructure bill to the floor Monday as previously agreed.

"It may be tomorrow -- if we have the votes," she said. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Later in the day Pelosi informed her colleagues that she anticipates a vote on Thursday.

"You cannot choose the date," she added. "You have to go when you have the votes, in a reasonable time. And we will."

Biden told reporters on Sunday he was "optimistic" Pelosi would get the agenda through the house this week, adding "it's going to take the better part of the week."

Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues in a letter Saturday that they "must" pass both of Biden's huge spending bills, along with legislation that keeps the federal government operating into the next fiscal year beginning October 1.

"The next few days will be a time of intensity," she wrote.

'Irresponsible Beyond Words'

Pelosi is running into not only a buzzsaw of opposition from Republicans; Democratic progressives and moderates have made clear they need to see quickly exactly what goes in the $3.5 trillion bill.

"The votes aren't there, so I don't think she's going to bring it" to the floor Monday, congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the House progressives, told CNN's State of the Union, regarding the infrastructure bill.

House progressives have repeatedly warned that they won't green-light infrastructure without Build Back Better.

In order to get the historic spending bill to Biden's desk, Democrats are using a process called "reconciliation," which allows certain budget-related legislation to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than 60 votes.

But moderate Senate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have expressed deep reservations about the huge price tag.

With the Senate evenly split 50-50, their votes would be critical to passing the bill -- something that Pelosi, herself a master vote-counter, is keenly aware of.

While all Democrats "overwhelmingly" support Biden's grand vision, it was "self-evident" that the final price tag for Build Back Better will be lowered, Pelosi said.

She also stressed the importance of funding the government to avoid a looming shutdown, and suspending the debt ceiling to allow federal agencies to make loan repayments.

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would accomplish both goals.

But Senate Republicans have balked over extending the Treasury Department's borrowing authority this time around, a position Pelosi described as "irresponsible beyond words."

Senate Republicans Running 'Blockade' Against Key Biden Legislation

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

On Tuesday evening Senate Republicans killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats' agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.

GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden's progressive agenda.

Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans' "blockade."

Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:

60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50 vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.

The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.

"This is a dark day in this country," Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.

"This is a dark day for Republicans," host Nicolle Wallace replied. "Republicans won't just walk over norms, they will burn them down," she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.

Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP: