Deep Dive (June 30): Sen. Graham on Infrastructure: ‘No Deal by Extortion’

By Tiffany Meier
Tiffany Meier
Tiffany Meier
Tiffany Meier is a New York-based reporter and host of NTD's "China in Focus."
June 30, 2021 Updated: June 30, 2021

At least 16 are dead and over 140 still missing in the Florida condo collapse. Rescue teams are now feeling the physical and emotional effects after nearly a week of searching. But they’re keeping hope alive. Miami rescue coordinator Captain Eddy Alarcon said Tuesday night that they’ve put themselves in the shoes of the family members, and none of them have given up hope. He said, “I know miracles happen and I believe in a higher power and I believe that if somebody is going to find them, we’re going to do it. We’re going to make it happen.”

President Joe Biden is touting his infrastructure plan in Wisconsin, while top Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is asking Democrats to de-link the bipartisan infrastructure plan from the human infrastructure plan. Republicans are saying they’ll refuse to vote for the bipartisan deal if a reconciliation deal is passed with it. Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in a tweet, “Not deal by extortion!” This comes as a Republican member of Congress wants to take all the earmarks—totaling $5.6 billion in spending—out of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Earmarks became a symbol of wasteful and corrupt spending in Washington in the early 2000s, highlighted by the infamous $223 million Bridge to Nowhere earmark. Republicans ended the practice in the House in 2011. But Democrats brought it back this year.

The House passed a bill to remove statues of Confederate supporters from the Capitol building, calling them symbols of hate and division. That echoes a National Archives report that described the federal agency’s Rotunda as a symbol of “structural racism.” The bill passed 285-120. All opposition votes were cast by Republicans. The legislation is now headed to the Senate, where Democrats have a razor-thin majority.

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Tiffany Meier is a New York-based reporter and host of NTD's "China in Focus."