McConnell Doubles Down on Infrastructure Support

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.
November 17, 2021 Updated: November 17, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doubled down on his vote in support of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, despite criticism from those within his own party.

In a meeting with reporters on Tuesday, McConnell argued the newly signed bill will add $550 billion in new investments in areas like broadband, transportation, and utilities.

“The infrastructure bill did not raise taxes. It did not revisit the 2017 tax bill. From a Kentucky point of view, it was extremely good for our state. I’m proud of my vote,” McConnell said.

“Members were obviously free to choose how they wanted to vote. And in the Senate, 19 Senate Republicans felt it was the right thing to do for the country,” he added.

The 19 GOP senators included nearly half of the 50 party leaders in the Senate.

In the House, the bipartisan consensus was weaker due to many Democrats who have sought to connect the bill with Biden’s Build Back Better legislation that currently stands at an additional $1.75 trillion.

A total of 13 House Republicans supported the measure, allowing the legislation to pass despite some opposition among progressive Democrats. The bill passed in a 228-206 vote on Nov. 5.

Republican Reps. Don Young of Alaska; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Don Bacon of Nebraska; Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith of New Jersey; Andrew Garbarino, John Katko, Nicole Malliotakis and Tom Reed of New York; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania; and David McKinley of West Virginia voted in support of the bill.

Six progressive Democrats voted against the bill. They included Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Cori Bush of Missouri and Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Former President Donald Trump was quick to attack McConnell in a statement last week.

“Why is it that Old Crow Mitch McConnell voted for a terrible Democrat Socialist Infrastructure Plan, and induced others in his Party to do likewise, when he was incapable of getting a great Infrastructure Plan wanting to be put forward by me and the Republican Party?” Trump said.

The former president also mocked McConnell for failing to pass his infrastructure bill when he was in office and Republicans led the Senate and House.

“He continuously said he couldn’t get it passed, just like I had to go around him to get the very popular Southern Border Wall built,” Trump said.

“All of the infrastructure money, $2 Trillion, would have gone into real infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, etc.),” he added.

Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.