Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell no longer leads his party, and proved Tuesday that he is incapable of leading the opposition to Democrats’ radical agenda for the country.
He voted for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure “deal,” providing one of 19 Republican votes that allowed President Joe Biden’s radical proposals to pass the Senate after clearing the filibuster. In return for allowing Biden to reshape the American economy, and claim a bipartisan victory, Republicans got nothing.
That’s right: nothing.
There is no border wall in the infrastructure deal, whose cost would be little more than a rounding error in the total proposal. The wall is urgently needed, as hundreds of thousands of migrants continue to pour across the southern border.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) proposed an amendment that would have directed a modest $1 billion toward completing the wall. But McConnell acceded to a process that did not allow Republicans to amend the bill at all.
There is no Keystone XL pipeline in the bill. Instead, Biden is promising electric vehicles — as he did in the 2009 “stimulus,” when he steered Fisker’s electric car factory to his home state of Delaware. Hundreds of millions of dollars later, Fisker produced no cars in the U.S. and went bust.
Biden is playing the same political games today, fêting UAW-staffed companies but excluding non-union Tesla, the industry leader.
We are told that there is “water infrastructure” in the bill, but there is no significant water storage in the legislation, even as drought grips the West.
What is in the bill is a new form of racial discrimination, called “digital equity,” which is only the latest attempt by the Biden administration to distribute federal funds on racial grounds, an approach that has already fallen afoul of the courts.
The bill also helps China steal American jobs, with carveouts for bogus “Buy American” provisions.
Perhaps the bill might have been defensible if it actually grew the economy, but an independent study found that the bill would “have no significant impact” on economic growth in the next ten years, or even in the next thirty years.
And after promises that the bill would be fully paid for, the Congressional Budget Office informed Congress that the bill will add $256 billion to the deficit. That’s a quarter of a trillion dollars to add to the growing inflation problem, for no real benefit.
Republicans told their voters that the $1.2 trillion bill would help deter Democrats from passing a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill through the “reconciliation” process. That bill is partly based on the radical “Green New Deal,” and includes massive new social entitlements. It could even include amnesty for some illegal aliens, such as the so-called “Dreamers.”
There is nothing to stop Democrats from passing it. Far from deterring them, McConnell has given them new momentum.
Now McConnell is threatening to oppose raising the debt limit if Democrats go ahead with their plans. He is bluffing, and everyone knows it. “The full faith and credit of the United States cannot be in question,” he said as recently as 2019.
He is simply posturing, hoping to fool people into thinking he is putting up a fight. Meanwhile, on his website, he is telling his own constituents that his vote for the infrastructure bill “delivers for Kentucky,” boasting of the pork he will bring home.
What hurts most is not even the wasteful spending; voters are resigned to that by now. What really irks Republican voters is that their Senators have given Biden a victory while his administration is doing so much to hurt the country.
The border is a catastrophe. Crime is surging across the country, while Biden talks about gun control, and Democrat mayors defund the police. The Supreme Court ruled the eviction moratorium was unconstitutional, but Biden went ahead with another one. The pandemic is surging again, after Biden’s vaccine rollout sputtered.
Biden has abandoned Cuban protesters. He is begging Iran to return to the failed nuclear deal, as the regime steps up its attacks on Israel through terrorist proxies. He is appeasing China and Russia, and leaving Afghanistan in a mess.
Yes, Republican voters want infrastructure, but not at the price of abandoning effective opposition.
When President Donald Trump proposed spending a trillion dollars on infrastructure, McConnell ruled it out entirely. In addition to the staggering cost, what McConnell opposed was Trump’s new model: the federal government would only spend $200 billion, letting the private sector do most of the rest.
That would have cut costs, while investing only in projects that had a good prospect of succeeding. But it would have also limited McConnell’s control of the cash and the patronage.
Republican voters are aghast at the betrayal. Yes, he confirmed Trump’s judges. But now, McConnell has cleared the way for the Democrats’ agenda.
The only hope left is that the Senate parliamentarian will rule out amnesty in “reconciliation”; that “moderate” Democrats like Joe Manchin (WV) or Kirsten Sinema (AZ) will get cold feet; or that the “Squad” will find a petty reason to oppose the bill in the House.
When Republican voters have more faith in the Senate parliamentarian, a pair of fickle Democrats, and in AOC than in the Senate Minority Leader, it is well past time for a change in leadership.
Under McConnell, Republicans lost control of the Senate, yet he somehow remained in charge of his party caucus. He took a gratuitous swipe at Trump after the second impeachment trial, rather than working to heal internal rifts. And with a 50-50 split, the best he could do on infrastructure is total surrender. Even his proposed amendments to the “reconciliation” bill fail to include a border wall.
Most of his caucus voted against him on the infrastructure bill. It is a sign: McConnell has to go.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.