Democrats, Republicans Tout Infrastructure Ahead of Midterm Elections
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With midterm elections season in full swing, both parties are promoting infrastructure proposals as they each pursue control of Congress.
Congressional Democrats, governing in the majority from both chambers, are reminding voters of their legislative record on infrastructure, supply chain and climate change policies before Election Day this November.
Specifically, President Joe Biden and his party’s leaders point to funding opportunities approved in last year’s $1 trillion infrastructure law.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) paved the way for billions of dollars in grants related to truck parking facilities and freight connectivity projects, among other programs. This year, Biden also enacted laws facilitating supply chain access to semiconductor computer chips, as well as enhancing severe-weather infrastructure resilience.
At the White House on Sept. 27, the president recounted his party’s record.
“Over the last few years, we’ve faced some of the most difficult challenges in our history, but we’re actually making progress helping folks get just a little more breathing room,” the president said. “Lowering health care costs and strengthening Medicare is a big part of progress that we’ve been making on inflation, not just with gasoline prices and other progress.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expanded on the administration’s record on infrastructure during a recent tour of the country.
America is geared up to go electric!
The Biden-Harris Administration just greenlit plans to implement the first nation-wide EV charging network. This is a critical milestone in ensuring electric vehicles are convenient, reliable, and affordable for all. https://t.co/6rkZmVQhBg — TransportationGov (@USDOT) September 27, 2022
“After years, or even decades, of frustration as there was talk of infrastructure promises and infrastructure weeks that never materialized, we’re thrilled that we are now seeing not just the legislation signed, as we did last year, but checks and funding signed off on this year to get projects in motion," Buttigieg said. “We’re delighted to see shovels starting to go into the ground and dirt starting to fly.”
Senior Capitol Hill Democrats also have stepped up their messaging with constituents. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested the infrastructure law’s enactment led to millions of “good union jobs by repairing our roads and bridges, expanding public transit and high-speed internet, and upgrading our electric and water infrastructure.”
Enacted Nov. 15, the IIJA is commonly referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure law.
House Republican leaders aiming for a takeover of the chamber associate Biden’s economic policies with inflation and supply chain bottlenecks. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the member positioned to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a Republican majority.
McCarthy and his deputies recently introduced a policy platform meant to help the GOP win elections this fall. The House GOP’s policy initiative, titled “Commitment to America,” proposes supply chain connectivity enhancements.
“The frightening supply shock of baby formula this year was the tip of the iceberg of a broken supply chain that has increased costs and left store shelves empty,” according to the Republican plan. “Record inflation is driving increases in the price of everyday essentials while our country remains dangerously reliant on foreign countries like China for critical supplies, medicines and technology.”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the chamber’s Republican Whip, said this month, “We wanted to lay out a bold conservative vision to show the country there’s hope again. The Commitment to America is going to show the country if you give us a Republican majority in the House these are the things we will do.”
House GOP is committed to a government that’s accountable.
“You’re going to see a very robust oversight investigation accountability program by our committees…How many people have come across our border illegally?...How many were on the terrorist watch list?” - @SteveScalise pic.twitter.com/5XB8IRC4PM — House Republicans (@HouseGOP) September 28, 2022
On the Senate side, Republicans also are exhibiting unity in their opposition to the president and Democrats.
“As Biden’s inflation rages and his recession begins, does the Democrat’s tax-and-spending spree help small businesses? No. It sends a bigger, badder IRS after every penny they have,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The group is tasked with promoting candidates for the Senate.
“Florida families and businesses, and the millions of seniors that call the Sunshine State home, are sick and tired of Democrats stealing from them to appease the radical liberal elites,” Scott said.
Prominent election analysts and political observers point to the potential for Republicans to gain congressional seats in this year’s election cycle.
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