by Paige Terryberry
Senior Analyst for Fiscal Policy, John Locke Foundation
Thirteen Republicans voted with the House Democrats on Friday to pass H.R. 3684, the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill.
Only 11%, $110 billion, is for traditional infrastructure. This is much less than the $159 billion dedicated to traditional infrastructure in the original version of the bill, the American Jobs Plan.
The infrastructure bill allocates funds to road and bridge projects and repairs, transportation safety programs, port infrastructure, airport maintenance, water infrastructure, internet access, maintaining the power grid, and other such projects.
More worrisome are the bill’s massive subsidies to favored sectors. The bill spends $66 billion to bailout Amtrak, $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, and $21.5 billion to subsidize favored, green projects, among other bad ideas.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected the bill will add $256 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years.
The infrastructure bill could bring $9 billion in federal funds to North Carolina over five years. Both North Carolina Senators voted for the bill in August while the North Carolina House members were divided along party lines with Democrats voting in support of the bill. Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) reasoned the bill is actually an “inFAKEstructure bill – less than 15% of which actually goes to what North Carolinians would traditionally consider infrastructure.”
The bill’s passing could generate momentum for the larger, catastrophic spending spree that is President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan (H.R. 5376). This tax and spend bill embodies Biden’s social agenda. Build Back Better would spend an additional $1.75 trillion, including another $555 billion on climate issues. Moreover, the bill would take further steps to sink the labor market by taxing businesses and the wealthy, driving more people to government-run health care, raising the price of education through subsidies to community colleges and bailouts to other academic institutions, using taxpayer money to reward illegal immigration, and a slew of other harmful initiatives.