As U.S. Senate leaders expect to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Tuesday morning, both of Tennessee’s senators, Marsha Blackburn (R) and Bill Hagerty (R), are vehemently opposing the legislation, alarmed by its potential to worsen the national debt.
Senate Democrats have expressed their intention to use a process called reconciliation to avoid any possible filibuster, thus allowing themselves expand the measure to encompass $3.5 trillion in federal spending. Blackburn, along with the D.C.-based Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, has warned that the cost of the final package could total over $5 trillion.
“Don’t go spending the money that our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay back — mortgaging their future, taking away their freedom,” Blackburn said to Fox News host Trey Gowdy Sunday evening.
Blackburn’s junior colleague Hagerty has attempted to slow the advancement of the legislation and to allow consideration of 19 amendments offered by senators from both sides of the aisle. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) shot down his attempt Sunday in favor of speeding passage of the measure.
“The senator’s objection exposes the Democrats’ true intention,” Hagerty said in response to Sinema. “I’ve never objected to consider amendments on this bill—not once. Democrats say that they want amendments, but they can’t take yes for an answer. Democrats’ true intention is to rush this bill through so that they can hurry up and light the fuse on their $3.5 trillion spending spree, a socialist debt bomb, then leave town for vacation.”
Hagerty has expressed apprehension that, according to Congressional Budget Office projections, the infrastructure package, even in its current $1.2 trillion form, would enlarge the federal deficit by $256 billion. The legislation includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $73 billion for electric-grid improvements, $65 billion for broadband expansion, $55 billion for cleaner drinking water, and $7.5 billion for electric-vehicle charging, among other items.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats have discussed plans to add trillions of dollars more to the final legislation through expanded Medicare, free community college, and child-care aid.
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