Thom Tillis slams Madison Cawthorn for attacking his infrastructure bill but touting its benefits

Thom Tillis slams Madison Cawthorn for attacking his infrastructure bill but touting its benefits

In North Carolina, far-right Rep. Madison Cawthorn was a strident, outspoken opponent of the bipartisan $1.25 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law in November 2021. But now, Cawthorn is trying to take credit for the benefits of the bill — and conservative Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who played a key role in crafting it, is calling him out.

In an interview with Politico published in late April, Tillis said of Cawthorn, “Don't go out in western North Carolina and say you brought broadband there when you voted against the very bill he criticized me for.”

President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have had plenty of legislative disappointments and frustrations in the U.S. Senate, from the Bill Back Better Act to voting rights. But the infrastructure bill was one time that a bill enjoyed enough bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate to make it to Biden’s desk and be signed into law.

In addition to Tillis, a key player in crafting the infrastructure bill was centrist Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Although Sinema has been a frequent source of frustration to the progressive wing of her party, Republican Tillis praised her for working closely with him on the bill’s elements.

Cawthorn, meanwhile, attacked Tillis vehemently for his role in the bill.

Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig notes that in March, Cawthorn “showed up at an event with a large $200,000 check of funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law.”

“Confronted by a local activist,” Zeballos-Roig notes, “Cawthorne admitted he voted against the law but pushed for the federal cash.”

Tillis is also calling Cawthorn out for his recent comments attacking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who he described as a “thug.” Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, another conservative critic of Cawthorn, has described the far-right congressman as part of the GOP’s “Putin wing.”

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