Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) blasted the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as chock-full of “stupid stuff” Monday night, hours ahead of a final Senate vote on passage.
Kennedy told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that he was likely to vote “yes” on the package until he received a copy of the 2,700-page measure.
“I realized pretty quickly that if you look up ‘stupid stuff’ in the dictionary, there’s a picture of this bill,” said Kennedy. “They told us it was a real infrastructure bill. It’s not; only 23 percent of the bill is real infrastructure, the rest is Green New Deal and welfare. They told us the bill was paid for; it isn’t, we’re gonna have to borrow maybe up to $400 billion to pay for it. They told us there were no tax increases. There are; my state’s gonna have to pay $1.3 billion in new taxes on our petrochemical industry.
“They told us … the Democrats were really wary of this bill and that if we passed this bill, it would make it harder for them to pass their $5 trillion tax and spending binge, reconciliation bill,” Kennedy added. “Well, if that’s true, how come every Democrat voted for this infrastructure bill? And finally, they told us that it’s not going to add to inflation, but it will.”
Despite the complaints of Kennedy and other Republican senators, the upper chamber is on track to pass the bill Tuesday morning and send it to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has vowed to hold it until Senate Democrats pass a larger $3.5 trillion budget resolution on their own, with no GOP support. The Senate is expected to begin debate on that measure once it dispenses with the bipartisan bill Tuesday.
“I don’t know why it passed with 60-plus votes,” Kennedy told host Laura Ingraham, before adding: “I don’t know, day drinking, maybe?”
At the heart of the bill is a proposal to spend $550 billion on roads, bridges, broadband internet, water pipes and other public works system. Opposition among conservative Republicans hardened last week after the Congressional Budget Office projected it would add $256 billion to the federal deficit over the next ten years.
Republican members of the bipartisan Senate negotiating team, which included Kennedy’s fellow Louisianan Bill Cassidy, argued that the CBO projection, or “score,” failed to take into account certain revenue streams — including future economic growth.