Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said Sunday he cannot support the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in its current form.
Warner, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, told Axios the proposal falls short in its effort to alleviate alleged racial inequalities in housing. The Virginia Democrat seeks to add more funding for housing assistance.
“As currently written, this proposal falls short,” Warner said in a statement to Axios.
Warner helped craft the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill and has concerns with the $600 million fund for first-time homebuyers.
NEW: Sen. Mark Warner warned that he could vote against the $3.5 trillion budget package if more money isn’t added for housing assistance to close the racial wealth gap, Axios has learned.https://t.co/wEdaH3Lo3q
— Axios (@axios) September 12, 2021
He added, “I will be working in the Senate to make the American dream of homeownership and wealth creation more accessible to historically disadvantaged communities.”
Warner continued, “We have an obligation to use this historic investment to address longstanding inequities of power and opportunity that have left Black families with an average net worth one-tenth the size of their white counterparts.”
Axios noted the $3.5 trillion infrastructure program would create a variety of social programs, including:
House and Senate committees are drafting specific legislation to raise $1.5 trillion in new revenues and spend some $3.5 trillion to expand the social safety net, including a variety of new programs from universal preschool to free community college to new money for housing and rental assistance.
Warner’s demand for more funding to address alleged racial inequalities in housing serves as the latest instance of Democrat infighting as the party hopes to pass the gargantuan infrastructure bill.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Democrats have to reduce the top-line spending in the bill, as he cannot support a $3.5 trillion bill.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Manchin’s lack of support for the infrastructure bill is “absolutely not acceptable to me.”
“I don’t think it’s acceptable to the president, for the American people, or the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic caucus,” Sanders said.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.