WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on the Senate floor about President Biden’s outrageous “infrastructure” bill and how it completely blows any chance of a bipartisan agreement.
To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.
You can read the transcript recorded in the Congressional Records below or click here.
MRS. BLACKBURN: Madam President, we have just listened to Senator
Portman, and you are hearing others of us on the Republican side of the
aisle talk about the elevated levels of spending and how our Democratic
colleagues have seemed to lose touch with the American people. This is
something that appears to have happened at lightning speed.
It really began on the very first day of the Biden administration. It
started with the stroke of a pen and a stream of Executive orders. On
Day 1, President Biden made a decision that he would weaken our border,
and with that stroke of a pen, he destroyed hundreds--hundreds,
thousands--of good-paying union jobs right in the middle of a pandemic,
and that was by eliminating the Keystone Pipeline. With every decision,
he has made it abundantly clear that he came back to Washington not to
serve this country but to advance an agenda pushed by the most radical
leftwing of the Democratic Party.
That being said, the White House has a problem because the American
people have figured out what they are up to, and as I have been home
for the past couple of weeks, I have talked to Tennesseeans from every
political division. They are Democrats, Republicans, Independents; they
are unaffiliated; and they are concerned citizens. It bothers them,
what they are seeing from this White House. How could they not have,
after seeing Senate Democrats spend $1.9 trillion on coronavirus relief
that spent just 9 percent of that pricetag on testing and healthcare
jobs? If that didn't do it, President Biden surely ticked them off when
he nominated a Health and Human Services Secretary with no healthcare
experience--zero--and a Homeland Security Secretary who believes that
we should have unsecured borders. You cannot make this up. People are
astounded with this.
So when people back home in Tennessee saw President Biden's latest
proposal for a $2 trillion so-called infrastructure bill, they weren't
particularly shocked to see that very little of this legislation has to
do with infrastructure.
Just 3 months into the new administration and already they know that this is just another vehicle for the left's wish list.
The most frustrating thing about it is that Tennesseans have
repeatedly told me that a smart, targeted plan to fund infrastructure
improvements would make a tremendous difference in local communities
and in our State. They support that type of investment. They want to
see that. Roads, bridges, waterways, highways, broadband, airports,
they are for that. What they don't support is an administration that
repeatedly promises one thing and then chooses to do the opposite.
Just like last month's over-the-top spending bill, this month's
multitrillion-dollar boondoggle isn't just a waste of taxpayer dollars;
it is a missed opportunity to rebuild parts of our economy that were
struggling to keep up before the pandemic hit.
Here is a number for your talking points: Less than 6 percent. And
what is less than 6 percent? That is the amount, that is the percentage
of this $2 trillion bill that actually goes to infrastructure
projects--less than 6 percent.
Tennesseans are asking me: How could this possibly happen? We have
been talking about having an infrastructure bill now for about 3 years,
and you bring a bill forward--the Democratic leadership does--and less
than 6 percent goes to infrastructure.
Now, this sounds like a familiar tactic: Redefine your standards, put
less than 10 percent of your funding toward your stated purpose, then
throw the rest into yet another handout for projects that would not
stand a chance. They wouldn't have a snowball's chance of receiving
public support on their own, much less 60 votes here in this Chamber.
President Biden's American jobs plan ignores rural Tennesseans who
have to navigate flood plains to get to work or to get to school. It
bypasses crumbling bridges they can't avoid, but it sure does pay a lot
of attention to Green New Deal policies that were nonstarters even
before Speaker Pelosi lost ground in the House.
Climate change studies and union payouts take precedent over roads,
bridges, ports, airports, and waterways. In fact, this absurd scheme
spends more taxpayer money on electric cars than on all of those things
combined. Yes, you heard me correctly. This so-called infrastructure
bill spends more money, more of your hard-earned tax dollars, on
electric cars than on all of the roads, bridges, highways, ports,
airports, and waterways. That is correct.
Another day, another power grab made worse by job-destroying,
corporate tax increases that will put American companies at a global
disadvantage. It is no wonder Democrats have been working overtime to
stretch the definition of ``infrastructure'' past the point of reason.
These days, entire White House press briefings rely on the idea that
the definition of ``infrastructure'' will continue to evolve--as they
say, it is going to evolve--to make it include whatever the Democrats
decide that it should include. It is a time-honored liberal trick that
has run its course.
They can tweet that lie every day for the next 4 years if they
choose, but here in the real world, we are dealing with an economy
still in recovery, major industries in crisis, and millions of families
who are working terribly hard and long hours to just make ends meet.
What we are seeing here isn't just a disconnect. This is an
administration attempting to impose their socialist vision on a country
that cannot sustain the cost.
To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, I want to be clear.
That vision of America that you have invented to fulfill this purpose
does not exist. It is time to come up for air and talk a little
I know it is a popular thing here in Washington to claim that
elections have consequences, but on your first day back in power, the
Democratic Party got together and marched right across the line that
separates consequences from punishment. Punishment, that is what they
are all about.
I would also encourage my Democratic colleagues to remember that when
they do this, when they put together these trillion-dollar handouts for
radical special interests, political pain for their opponents isn't the
only result. They are punishing their neighbors, their friends,
communities that are in their States. They are making life harder, much
more difficult, for local businesses and small business manufacturers,
and they are exposing our weaknesses to our adversaries.
I will tell you, if President Biden and the majority leader shove yet
another blank check through this Chamber, they are going to find out in
a hurry, I really do believe, how little the American people have to
give for their leftist agenda.
I yield the floor.