Congressional Republicans reacted swiftly to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passage after 13 members of the GOP crossed the aisle and voted for the bill.
The passage of the bipartisan bill was seen as a win for the Biden administration and ended weeks of deadlock between progressive and moderate Democrats.
“Republicans who voted for the Democrats’ socialist spending bill are the very reason why Americans don’t trust Congress,” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Some Republican leaders who voted “no” on the bill called it “socialist” and “communist” and decried their GOP colleagues who voted for the bill’s passage.
Representative Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., called the bill “garbage.” She argued that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not have been able to secure passage for the bill without the votes of the 13 Republican representatives.
The final vote was 228-206, with six progressive Democrats voting against it.
Boebert sounded off on Twitter, writing, “RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) just passed this wasteful $1.2 trillion ‘infrastructure bill.’ Time to name names and hold these fake republicans accountable.”
Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., agreed with Boebert stating, “I can’t believe Republicans just gave the Democrats their socialism bill.”
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said the 13 Republicans who voted for the bill “handed over their voting cards to Nancy Pelosi to pass Joe Biden’s Communist takeover of America via so-called infrastructure.”
Rep. Adam Kinziger, R-Ill., responded to Greene.
“Infrastructure=communism is a new one. Eisenhower’s interstate system should be torn up, or else the commies will be able to conveniently drive! Red Dawn in real life,” Kinziger said.
On the defensive
Republican representatives who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill explained that its benefits to their states outweighed the considerable price tag.
“Most of the hard infrastructure bill is paid for by unspent COVID money that was already appropriated by Congress. This bill makes our nation stronger and more competitive for years to come. Make no mistake. This is not the Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Budget Busting Bill, which would’ve cost American taxpayers their hard-earned money. When that bill does come to the floor for a vote, I will be a hard ‘NO,'” said Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.
Rep. Don Young, R-Ak., tweeted that the bill “authorizes $3.5 billion in federal highway funding for Alaska over 5 years.”
He continued, “This means we can rebuild, maintain, & construct new roads & highways to better serve Alaskans. The benefits for our state do not stop at highway funding alone. … I’ve made it clear that I don’t like the way this bill made it to the floor. It should’ve moved via regular order, allowing T&I Chair DeFazio & RM Graves to improve it. But there are no do-overs now, & too much of our infrastructure is already in the 11th hour of its usefulness.”
The 13 Republican congressmen who voted in favor of the bill included: Don Bacon of Nebraska, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Tom Reed from New York, Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Don Young of Alaska, Andrew Garbarino from New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez from Ohio, David McKinley of West Virginia, John Katko of New York, Chris Smith from New Jersey, and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.
The “Squad,” six progressive House Democrats, voted against the bill, including Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Jamaal Brown of New York, and Cori Bush of Missouri.
The bill moves to President Biden’s desk for final approval. It calls for funding for physical infrastructure projects, including bridges, broadband internet, roads, and water pipes.