Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over the weekend brought accolades from a chief negotiator, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) as well as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
But conservative U.S. Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) (pictured above) had harsh words for 13 GOP representatives who bucked the Republican leadership and helped pass the $1.2 trillion spending package Davidson dubbed “a trojan horse” for the pending Build Back Better legislation.
Portman, who served as a chief negotiator of the legislation in the Senate, lauded the 229-206 U.S. House vote on Nov. 5 on legislation that also gained 18 other Senate Republicans when it passed in August. The legislation had languished since then as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and progressive members of her party attempted to tie a vote on the infrastructure bill to Senate vote on the omnibus Build Back Better legislation which is chock full of spending on progressive policies.
“I am pleased that the Bridge Investment Act, included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has now passed the House and will be signed into law by the President,” Portman said in a November 6 news release.
The bill establishes a competitive grant program for the repair and replacement of deficient and outdated bridges and other infrastructure priorities, including broadband expansion. Portman said it also gets Ohio and Kentucky closer to planning repairs and upgrades to the Brent Spence Bridge that carriers Interstates 75 and 71 traffic between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Brown also cheered the passage of the bill in a news release sent over the weekend. The legislation includes Brown’s addition of language from his Bridge Investment Act and Build America Buy America Act proposals, the latter of which requires the use of American steel in bridge projects in the broader bill.
Davidson cautious of inflation
Still, Davidson blasted the bill as the Trojan Horse Infrastructure Bill in his Nov. 7 weekly newsletter, noting passage now shifts the focus to House Resolution 5376, the Build Back Better collection of progressive social and environmental policies and massive social and educational spending championed by House progressives and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, D-I, chairman of the budget committee.
“Like most of my Republican colleagues, there are some things included in both bills in which I support,” Davidson wrote in the newsletter sent out Sunday night. “Traditional infrastructure items could easily get my support, but even these positive items are laden with partisan poison pills, like limitations on non-union labor or green energy mandates.”
He noted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi managed to pass the Infrastructure Investment legislation without the support of six extremely progressive representatives dubbed “the Squad” who had voted against the bill because of the Senate had not yet passed the Build Back Better bill.
But 13 moderate Republicans – whom Davison dubbed “defectors” – broke ranks and voted in favor to deliver the stand-alone infrastructure bill.
Davidson remains opposed to the Build Back Better legislation, which remains in negotiations in the Senate, citing inflation as just one of potential negatives of the legislation.
“I’ll say again, “Build Back Better,” Davidson wrote in the newsletter, “will help bankrupt America financially and morally.”
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Brian R. Ball is a veteran Columbus journalist writing for The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. Send him news tips to email@example.com.
Photo “Warren Davidson” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.