• August 1, 2021

AOC insists: no bipartisan infrastructure bill without a $ 3.5T partisan spending plan

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez walks past reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2021.
(Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insisted Sunday that the House should not pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill without a much larger partisan spending package, claiming that she and her progressive allies have “more than enough” votes to kill the man. first unless the second also approves.

The comments further conflict with any suggestion that the two bills could be considered on separate tracks, as some Republican negotiators hoped.

The previous bill, a roughly $ 1 trillion version of the original $ 4 trillion plan introduced by President Biden as part of his “Build Back Better” agenda, includes provisions for transportation, broadband internet and drinking water systems. The latter, costing $ 3.5 trillion, would fund many of the Biden administration’s national legislative priorities, namely on climate change, health care, and family service programs.

“It was made very clear at the beginning of this process that this bipartisan agreement, if it even survives the Senate, the only chance it has of being approved by the House is if the House passes the Senate bill and if the Senate passes the bill. of law of the House. , which is largely about reconciliation, “AOC said on CNN State of the union.

The Senate recently voted on a procedural motion to advance the bipartisan agreement, opening the chamber to begin debate and fine-tune the amendments. A final text for the document of more than 2,000 words is expected to be published on Sunday.

“We cannot have a single body that directs the entire legislative agenda of the country and, frankly, 20 senators within that single body. We need a reconciliation bill. . . if we want this bipartisan bill to pass, “AOC added. “Reconciliation” refers to the largest package; specifically, to the process that Democrats want to use to pass it by a simple majority.

When asked by host Jake Tapper if he would vote for the bipartisan legislation, the Democratic representative responded, “We have to stick with that deal. If there is no reconciliation bill in the House and if the Senate does not pass the reconciliation bill, we will keep our end of the bargain and we will not pass the bipartisan bill until we get all these investments. “

The legislator said that the “agreement” is the approval of the reconciliation bill for the approval of the infrastructure bill, adding that the number of legislators who will support her in this lawsuit is “double digits”. When asked if it is enough to prevent the bipartisan bill from passing, he said it is “more than enough.” The future of these two packages remains murky, as it is unclear whether Democrats on the Senate side would stick together on the partisan plan, which Republicans oppose.

AOC also said that it considers some of the allocations in the bipartisan agreement to be “alarming”, especially those related to the privatization of public infrastructure and toll roads.

“Leasing public infrastructure to private entities is very concerning and should concern all Americans. We really need to see that language. . . . Bipartisan does not mean it is always in the public good. Sometimes there are a lot of gifts from corporate lobbyists in some of these bills, ”he noted.

The AOC recently criticized Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema for her criticism of the huge price tag of the reconciliation bill. The “squad” member’s comments were echoed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week when she said she would refuse to put the bipartisan infrastructure deal in the room unless the Senate pushes the bill. partisan through reconciliation.

President Biden threatened to veto the bipartisan deal unless the reconciliation bill was also passed, but regressed after criticism from Republican lawmakers.

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