Forget reading the bill after you pass it — now Senate Democrats want to pass a bill that doesn’t exist! Taking their abuse of the legislative process to new heights, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) did something that no one learned on Schoolhouse Rock: he held a vote on nothing. Just trust us, Democrats cooed. It’ll be great. Republicans, who’ve been stung by plenty of bills they had read, refused. Maybe Schumer needs a refresher on how Congress works, but, as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed out, “Around here, we typically write the bills before we go.”
The phantom proposal, which was supposed to be the shell of Joe Biden’s phony infrastructure bill, never materialized. Amazingly, that didn’t deter Democrats, who are desperate to blow through more taxpayer dollars before summer recess. Well, the Left has proved they can game the system, but they can’t bypass it. “These discussions have yet to conclude,” McConnell said “There’s no outcome yet, no bipartisan agreement, no text. Nothing for the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate. And certainly nothing on which to vote. Not yet. So obviously, if the Democratic leader tries to force a cloture vote on a bill that does not exist. It will fail.”
And it did. Republicans, even the ones negotiating with Democrats, refused to take a $1.2 trillion dollar proposal on faith. “There just isn’t the kind of trust around it right now that would allow that to happen,” Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) warned. Across the aisle, Schumer, competing for understatement of the year, declared after the vote, “In order to finish the bill, first we need to start.” That’s proving to be a tall order for Biden’s party. Turns out, there’s a big difference between squawking about bipartisanship and actually practicing it. And of course, Democrats have made that even more difficult by trying to cram the bill full of wildly unpopular priorities.
Just this week, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) argued that the bill — which is already so far removed from actual infrastructure that it’s become a late-night punch line — should include things like “voting rights.” What does that have to do with paving highways? Absolutely nothing — unless the road is to a permanent Democratic majority. On the White House’s Twitter account, Biden’s spin-masters insist the plan will build “thousands of bridges.” That’s interesting, NRO’s Dominic Pino writes. Because 99.2 percent of what they’re discussing has nothing to do with bridges.
Frankly, the idea that members of both parties are willing to add heaping piles of debt onto a towering mountain of IOUs ought to worry everyone, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) warned on “Washington Watch.” “How are they going to pay for this $1.2 trillion dollars?” he asked. And let’s not forget, Daines said, “This is just the warm-up. [These are] the hors d’oeuvres for the main course the Democrats are salivating over. And that’s the $3.5 trillion dollar — that’s with a T — [grab bag of liberal priorities that Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is pushing], which includes massive spending, massive tax increases, massive increase in the deficit, massive effects on inflation in our country. But if there’s something the Democrats do really, really well,” Daines pointed out, “it’s that they know how to spend and they know how to raise taxes.”
Not surprisingly, Daines said, this twin set of bills — worth an eye-popping $4.7 trillion — will cost much more than what they’re claiming. “Because what they’ve done is [stuffed it with brand] new entitlements that go out for five years. But the reality is, those will continue on beyond five years and [will] probably be there forever. As Ronald Reagan talked about, [these are] the forever programs of federal government… And what’s going on now is, of course, inflation… the greatest inflation we’ve had in 13 years. Inflation is really a tax on the American people. It’s the most regressive kind of tax, because those who can afford it the least are impacted the most. With inflation, you throw another $5 trillion dollars of spending in the economy and you know what’s going to happen? It’s going to put more inflationary pressure.”
But wait — what about Biden’s speech that spending helps inflation? Daines, like everyone else who understands basic economics, half-laughed. “You can’t defy the laws of gravity. That’s what’s going on. Or when you inject that amount of federal spending into the economy, we’re already starting to see the effects… I can’t imagine what will happen here if they’re successful in pushing another $5 trillion dollars into the economy over a relatively short period of time… The scale of what they’re looking at is dangerous,” he warned. Apart from the actual numbers — which are massive — this whole stunt of moving forward with a bill that doesn’t even exist is very revealing. It’s like running around with a checkbook full of signed checks! How many Americans in their right mind would do that? And yet, that’s exactly what the Left tried here.
Americans need to be paying attention, Daines said, because China is. They watched Biden ram through — on purely partisan lines — another $2 trillion dollar COVID relief package this year — even though we still had a trillion dollars of unspent funds from 2020. “We didn’t need it.” Now, there’s $4.7 trillion dollars on deck, and China is cheering — because if we keep passing proposals like this one, America will eventually collapse under the weight of all of this spending. “We’re unilaterally disarming in this country by raising taxes to make us less competitive, pushing jobs back overseas, creating inflationary pressures which really shrinks the paycheck of the American people. This is recklessness by the Left,” he insisted. “We must do everything we can to stop it. And by the way, it just takes one Democrat to stop this — just one — because they don’t pass this purely on a 50-50 kind of vote. If one Dem stands up and has the courage to push back, we can stop this.”
Published with permission, Family Research Council, Washington Update, July 22, 2021 frc.org.
The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team and is an outreach project of Center for Self Governance to educate citizens in principles of liberty. The authors include administrative staff, students, and guest columnists. Views expressed may not reflect the views of CSG.
Become an insider!
Sign up to get breaking alerts from Sons of Liberty Media.