These Republicans condemned Biden’s infrastructure bill as 'socialism' — before requesting funds from it
When President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on November 15, 2021, members of his administration weren’t shy about describing the bill as “bipartisan” — as those who played major roles in crafting it had ranged from conservative Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina to centrist Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. But many far-right MAGA Republicans were quick to condemn the bill, slamming it as “socialism” and describing Tillis and others in the GOP who voted for it as RINOS: Republicans In Name Only.
Almost 11 months have passed since Biden signed the bill into law. And according to CNN reporters Edward-Isaac Dovere and Sarah Fortinsky, some of the Republicans who attacked the infrastructure bill last year have been asking for funds from it — including Rep. Tom Emmer.
“Last November, GOP Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota released a statement slamming the passage of the freshly approved infrastructure law he referred to as ‘President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar socialist wish list,’” Dovere and Fortinsky report. “Then, in June, Emmer — the House Republican campaign chairman leading attacks on Democrats for supporting the law — quietly submitted a wish of his own. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Emmer expressed his hearty support for a multimillion dollar grant to improve part of Highway 65 in his district.”
Other Republicans who went from condemning the infrastructure bill in 2021 to requesting funds from it in 2022, according to Dovere and Fortinsky, have included Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Rep. María Elvira Salazar of Florida. The reporters note that like Emmer, Rep. David Valadao of California “slammed the Biden law in public and then behind the scenes, asked for money from it.”
“Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, a leading Biden critic who explained his vote against what he called a 'phony' infrastructure bill by issuing a statement that ‘this bill only serves to advance the America Last’s socialist agenda, while completely lacking fiscal responsibility,’ wrote three separate letters between March and July advocating for projects in his district,” Dovere and Fortinsky explain. “They’d enhance quality of life, Gosar wrote. They’d ease congestion and boost the economy. They’d alleviate bottlenecks and improve rural living conditions…. Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr called the bill a ‘big government socialist agenda.’ He later wrote three letters of his own on behalf of three different projects, also citing their importance for safety and job growth.”
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