Spending Trillions More Is Ahead for Taxpayers | Citizens Against Government Waste

Spending Trillions More Is Ahead for Taxpayers

The WasteWatcher

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) discussed in an April 8 blog, “Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Takes Spending Way Off Track,” that the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan contains hundreds of billions of dollars unrelated to infrastructure and would put a significant, unnecessary financial burden on future generations.  Yet, the Biden administration and big-spending members of Congress believe that is still not enough.  Taxpayers need to buckle up and hang on because even more trillion-dollar spending is ahead that will provide additional opportunities to get the federal government’s tentacles firmly wrapped around all aspects of everyone’s lives.

Perhaps due to significant pushback to President Biden’s jobs plan because it contained far more than traditional infrastructure, the massive spending plan is being split into two separate packages, plus more.  An April 8 article in Roll Call reported that the Biden administration is planning to spend an additional $1 trillion for education, health, and child and elder care.  (And that is without his $1.5 trillion “skinny” discretionary budget for fiscal year 2022).

In her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “backed the White House’s pitch to split its infrastructure plans into two packages — one emphasizing tangible assets like roads, bridges and broadband and another focused on ‘human’ infrastructure.”  As evidence of the unprecedented definition that Democrats are now using for “infrastructure,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand  who tweeted on April 7, “Paid leave is infrastructure.  Child care is infrastructure.  Caregiving is infrastructure.”

While President Biden keeps claiming that he and Democrats in Congress want to pass bipartisan bills, Speaker Pelosi has her own internal problems.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) laid out what they want in the current infrastructure plan.  They called for five priorities:  1.)  “Strengthen the Care Economy”; 2.) “Bold Investments in Affordable Housing”; 3.) “Dramatically Lower Drug Prices, Use Savings to Pay for Public Health Expansion”; 4.) “Bold Investments in Climate Jobs and Impacted Communities”; and, 5.) “Roadmap for Citizenship and Inclusion for Immigrant Communities.” 

The details of these proposals include making childcare a universal benefit; guaranteeing the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Vouchers program and switching the program from annual appropriations to mandatory spending; expanding the drug price control polices from H.R. 3, Speaker Pelosi’s “Lower Drug Costs Now Act,” and using the “savings” to lower the Medicare eligibility age with expanded benefits; adopting policies from the Green New Deal; and providing a roadmap to citizenship for people in the U.S. illegally or with temporary protected status.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have been unanimous in their disapproval with the non-traditional infrastructure policies found in the American Jobs Plan and their enormous cost.  They plan to offer their own version.   It is clear Democratic leaders think they have a better chance of getting bipartisan support for traditional infrastructure spending without having to go through reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority to pass in the Senate without having to worry about a filibuster.  But using reconciliation would require the Democrats to be united and force many provisions within the American Jobs Plan to be dropped because the rules require that only changes to spending and taxing measures can be made and not add to the debt.  However, like the Democrats did with the American Rescue Plan Act, they will not hesitate to move forward without Republican votes.

CPC Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) has said, “We have a limited window to get this done” and “Our preference is for a single, ambitious package that would include both physical infrastructure and care infrastructure – these investments go hand-in-hand, and we need both to restore our economy and empower families” and that “human infrastructure cannot be secondary to the physical infrastructure needs we have as a country.”

Both the Senate and the House have very narrow margins between the two political parties, so there will be a struggle for both to get the bipartisan majority necessary for passage of these massive spending packages and an agreement among Democrats if needed for a partisan vote, given the Far-Left proposals from some of their members.

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