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GOP accuses Home Democrats of breaking Biden’s ‘double dipping’ promise on infrastructure

House Republicans are accusing Democrats on the transportation committee of “double dipping” by searching for to fund sure infrastructure provisions with their expansive finances reconciliation package deal in violation of President Joe Biden’s guarantees.

The Democratic-led Home Transportation and Infrastructure Committee started marking up its $60 billion portion of the Construct Again Higher Act on Tuesday, contemplating spending billions on rail, freeway, and port infrastructure tasks — the kinds of tasks Republicans on the panel say have been already hashed out and resolved within the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure challenge that handed the Senate final month.

Democrats are utilizing the method of finances reconciliation to cross trillions of {dollars} in spending to help liberal coverage priorities that Republicans oppose. The method permits them to marshal by laws with a easy majority as a substitute of 60 votes .

Throughout negotiations on the bipartisan package deal, Biden dedicated his social gathering to not utilizing the reconciliation course of as a method of rehashing funding for the kind of bodily infrastructure objects addressed within the Senate deal. Nonetheless, Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio stated he would search for a method round it.

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Provisions the Home Transportation Committee is contemplating for the reconciliation package deal embrace $2.5 billion in Port Infrastructure Improvement Program grants to help provide chain resilience and discount in port congestion. The already-passed bipartisan infrastructure package deal funds this system with $2.22 billion, though it does so over an extended time frame — by 2036 slightly than 2031, because the panel seeks to do.

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The committee’s proposal additionally consists of $10 billion in grant funding to the Passenger Rail Enchancment, Modernization, and Emissions Discount Program to help public high-speed rail tasks. The Senate’s settlement consists of $36 billion in help of a joint federal-state Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail, which funds high-speed rail.

Different objects within the transportation committee’s markup embrace funding for wastewater infrastructure and FEMA’s hazard mitigation revolving mortgage fund packages, which the Senate invoice would fund.

Republicans charged committee Democrats with shirking Biden’s guideline with the varied provisions, together with objects trying to curb carbon emissions.

“The president explicitly stated, ‘We’re not going to double dip.’ That is double dipping,” Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana stated Tuesday, pointing to the committee’s work on the Home’s partisan infrastructure invoice . “The invoice that this committee handed out and handed by the Home flooring 40 totally different packages … associated to this very factor — to lowering emissions, targeted on the transportation sector.”

“The Senate bipartisan invoice successfully ignored [them],” Graves added. “However they selected one, and it is already of their invoice. It truly has an opportunity of passing, so this could be double dipping.”

Republican amendments searching for to strike the high-speed rail provision — in addition to a provision offering $50 million to the Federal Freeway Administration to set necessary greenhouse gasoline efficiency targets and one other establishing $10 billion in funding for a brand new transit program — have been rejected.

DeFazio beforehand challenged the notion his committee can be held to Biden’s double-dipping pledge and supplied an alternate definition.

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“I did not signal that settlement,” DeFazio stated in August. “In truth, I do not imagine anyone within the majority within the Senate, aside from a few senators, signed off on that settlement. We’re working with the White Home to see if there are methods round it.”

“I am taking a look at creating new packages that aren’t the identical as those that have been funded there … There are tasks proposed in plenty of main cities in America the place the high-speed rail would go into town middle,” he added. “That is not within the Senate invoice. So I believe that is a brand new program, it is a totally different program. It is not double dipping.”

The Washington Examiner reached out to DeFazio’s workplace and the transportation committee majority’s workplace for remark.



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