What is the objection to Biden's infrastructure bill?

All but 13 Republicans voted against the newly-passed infrastructure bill. Even the Squad joined the mainstream Republicans in voting against it.

What’s the objection to it? From Republicans and from AOC’s group?

The AOC group are upset because they were promised that both bills would be considered at the same time. That seems the same self serving excuse as the Republicans don’t want the Democrats to accomplish anything.

I don’t know about the Republicans. One possible objection is that there’s an argument that the taxes being collected already should be enough to pay for infrastructure. The notion that the government is collecting all these taxes but neglecting infrastructure, and if we want infrastructure we have to pay an additional assessment, is something that I can see people objecting to. But I don’t know if that’s actually the Republicans’ issue. Quite likely there’s some politics involved as well.

In the case of the Squad, it’s all politics. They were holding the infrastructure bill hostage to the BBB bill. They’ve been pretty explicit about this.

NO! Get outta here!

Republicans object to it for many reasons. It would be an accomplishment of a Democratic administration is one reason. It would be paid for by people other than just the working class is another. It recognizes that coal is not our future is another still.

And of course, THE DEBT, which is only mentioned during Democratic bills.

You’ll notice that 13 Republicans voted for the bill. That meant that the six Democrats would not affect the outcome. If all the Republicans had stayed together, then either the six would have voted for it, or else Pelosi would not have brought it to the floor. The votes were safe protest votes.

The Republicans, with those few exceptions, cannot vote for anything proposed by the Democrats without riling their insane base. They will immediately go home and take credit for all the money going into their districts, though. Politics is not a game with rules, something the Democrats do not understand.

This maneuver by Pelosi had the added effect of giving the impression that the bill passed because of the Republicans. They are now turning on each other, and Trump is blaming McConnell because McConnell voted for it as well.

In their own words,

wasteful 1.2 trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill” ~ Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO-3)

$5 TRILLION socialist takeover of our country” ~ Rep. Mary Miller (IL-15)

socialism bill” ~ Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01)

$7.5 billion to build EV charging stations all over America to force Americans to drive [Chinese Communist Party] battery driven cars.” ~ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14)

Bernie’s agenda and AoC’s GreenNewDeal. Shameful.” ~ Rep. Warren Davidson (OH-8)

But aside from Twitter, we have some criticisms in the Congressional record. The House allowed about an hour of formal debate, from what I can tell, on Sept. 27. Democrats in the room did respond to these points, immediately.

"[…] only a fraction of the funds go to roads, bridges, broadband, and other things people outside the swamp would generally consider infrastructure, a true and embarrassingly small drop in the bucket, considering the current state of Michigan’s infrastructure […]

But more importantly, I am asking you to read between the lines to understand that this package will stretch the long, intrusive arm of the Federal Government into your life, more than ever before. Your energy bill, your taxes, your job, your Nation’s borders, your economic freedom."

~ Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-1)

"I want to highlight two key points.

The first is that today’s legislation is one of the largest infrastructure bills ever before the House, but because of the Speaker’s mismanagement of this entire process, the House failed to be taken seriously and failed to have any input into this bill.

The second point is that this bill is a Trojan horse for reconciliation. We all know that. Voting for this bill is a vote for Speaker Pelosi’s $3.5 trillion spending spree, and there is no way to separate the two. Even the Speaker acknowledges this, and many others as well."

~ Rep. Sam Graves (MO-06)


And to put a finer point on that - since we already have the taxes assessed, just use monies from wasteful programs that primarily benefit the poor, like food stamps, welfare, Social Security, etc. Ya know, garden variety social programs that conservatives are always looking to cut - take money from THOSE programs and then we’re talking!

More criticisms from Rep. Rick Crawford (AK-1) of the House Transportation Committee. These are in the Congressional record, back on June 30, before the Senate had made their amendments to the bill. I can’t say for sure whether they are all criticisms he still holds today since the bill has changed significantly.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

“[…] the disproportionate amount of Democrat amendments we will be considering today […] Over 100 Democrat amendments have been approved by the Rules Committee while less than 30 Republican amendments have been made in order.”

“no pay-for in sight […] Members should not be forced to choose between voting on a bill that just burdens future generations of Americans with more debt and greater dependence on China or passing another short-term surface extension. But those are the two options presented to us by the majority here today.”

“policies that prevent rural communities from growing and that raises inflation so average Americans will continue to see rising prices in everyday products like milk and gas.”

“American demand for high-speed rail is low; and Federal money for transportation must be spent on projects and infrastructure that Americans need and use. The issue is not whether America must lead the world in high-speed rail, but whether Americans actually want high-speed rail.”

"The huge funding levels aren’t what they appear to be because the bill spreads the dollars thin over 41 new programs; adds many new burdensome mandates to programs that States rely on; doesn’t include meaningful regulatory reforms so dollars are used more effectively.

Instead of getting money to States quickly so they can use it how they need, the majority adds new restrictions, like prohibiting new highway capacity that would hamper States’ ability to build the projects that their communities need."

"This bill wants to force Americans off the roads and into transit and passenger rail. But the central planning push couldn’t come at a worse time because of the pandemic-related uncertainty and ongoing changes in transportation, work, and living patterns that will last for years to come.

Even before the pandemic, 85 percent of Americans traveled to work in a car, truck, or van, and only 5 percent used public transportation. But the majority chose to bankrupt the programs the overwhelming majority of Americans rely on.

As employers are becoming more flexible with teleworking, the majority believes we should be less flexible with our State and local partners. We should focus on core infrastructure and proven programs that provide for flexibility instead of dictating a one-size-fits-all progressive idea of what transportation should look like.

The majority calls this is a transformative bill. Well, the American people can be assured they will see the price of gas and goods transform upwards with the increasing inflation this unpaid-for bill will drive.

We just heard 38 amendments and not a single reference to how any of those would be paid for. In fact, there is not any pay-for in this entire bill. Any argument that we don’t want to work with the majority is just simply false.

In addition to the strong resiliency title in Republican bill STARTER Act 2.0, I frequently said I was willing to work with the majority. And the ranking member said that he wanted to work with the majority on their priority of reducing transportation’s impact on the environment, but that we also needed to work to address Republican priorities like streamlining. They simply refused.

In committee, we proposed compromises that would include both climate and streamlining provisions and offered a ``Buy American’’ amendment to ensure we weren’t sending U.S. dollars for electric vehicle infrastructure to support the Chinese Government’s slave labor and environmental destruction. The majority rejected those proposals. Instead, House Democrats are willing to sell out to China to claim they are reaching their climate goals.

Republican Members are not willing to ignore the fact that relying on China, the worst polluter in the world, will absolutely increase global emissions.

Furthermore, we have to remember this is a transportation bill, first and foremost. Spending $1 out of every $2 on meeting Green New Deal objectives begs the question: Is this bill still a transportation bill?

There was also a list of talking points against it from the Republican Study Committee, here.


They have their talking points that try to come up with some policy justification, but House Republicans have been quite candid for the reason behind their opposition to the bill (and their fury at the 13 Republicans who voted for it) – they see it as a political win for Biden. The most important thing in the world to them is to deny the Administration political victories, regardless of whether or how it would improve the lives of their constituents.

“Very sad that the RINOs in the House and Senate gave Biden and Democrats a victory on the ‘Non-Infrastructure’ Bill.”

—Trump, from here.

All the other rationalizations from GOP lawmakers are self-serving camouflage. As others have noted, the sole basis for opposition is that “true and faithful” Republicans must deny the Democrats any kind of a win, regardless of any potential positive effect on the country.

Trump, ironically, is the only one telling the truth.

I don’t know.

If that’s all it was, then the Republicans would have passed something of this sort when they controlled Congress and the Presidency, and would have had the “victory” for themselves.

But that’s all it is for Trump, of course. He is always entirely focused on himself, and for him, the fact that he couldn’t get the infrastructure “victory” and the Democrats could is a bitter pill.

I haven’t gotten into the weeds of the bill, but my VERY general impression was that it cals for pretty widespread spending, defining “infrastructure” pretty broadly.

My criticism (and I have NEVER been confused for a conservative/Republican) is the same as the recent COVID stimulus spending, that is is not aimed at making meaningful progress WRT any specific critical issues. I have heard several interest groups say that the proposals far far short of what their interests truly require. We aren’t going to end up with rehabilitated roads and bridges, tomorrow’s electric grid, clean energy, high speed rail, … Instead, a bunch of $ will be spewed at any number of incremental projects. With the result that the cans will keep getting kicked down the road.


I’d disagree. There are rules, it’s just that the Repubs have learned that breaking them doesn’t always seem to have consequences.

The biggest objection is that Biden will get credit for all the jobs created. All of these people will be lined up with their hands out for the money and then crowing to their constituencies about how they brought home the bacon.

My first impression is because of the Democratic insistence that this and the higher-priced social welfare bill be considered together is that the Pubs were confused as to what’s in the bill. Hey, I’m a Republican and will admit we didn’t elect the brightest of the bunch in 2020.

Another reason could be that although Biden claims the plan pays for itself, the CBO says that is wrong. It will increase the deficit so some of the votes could be on principal of, “Don’t increase the deficit then lie about it.”

There were rules. But if one side can break them without consequences, there are no longer rules. Sticking to abandoned rules guarantees loses.

If Democrats were putting their money into banks which Republicans blithely walk in and rob, would you argue that the Democrats should continue to put their money in banks?

For the clueless, this is not an argument that the Democrats should therefore start robbing Republican banks. For one thing, in this analogy, the Republicans no longer put their money in banks. They have moved outside that system. The Democrats need a new system of their own.

The Democrats ought to be taking names here. Next election cycle, they can ask a simple question: “If you are working on an infrastructure project, thank [by name, the people who helped pass the bill], and no thanks to [by name, the people who voted against it].”

Here is a decent view of what states will be getting out of this - check the chart to see what your state is expecting - I would think you will be seeing visible, noticeable projects getting started in the next year or so. As noted, state and local governments are going to be the stewards of the funds, so if you are not seeing any activity it may be local priorities. The article also breaks down the type of investment: