Sen. Bill Cassidy says his wife would support the new bipartisan infrastructure proposal because roads and bridges are a “woman’s problem.”
The Louisiana Republican, an architect of the bipartisan infrastructure deal negotiated by 21 senators and championed by President Joe Biden, said his wife viewed access to adequate transportation as a “woman’s problem” because women are often the household members who are “taking children to schools or doing the shopping.”
“If you go home and talk to constituents who are stuck in traffic for an hour and a half getting to work and an hour and a half getting home, three hours a day that they don’t spend with their family, they want a bridge coming to a town near them,” he advised his GOP colleagues who oppose the measure during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. “My wife says that roads and bridges are a ‘woman’s problem,’ if you will, because oftentimes, it is the woman, aside from commuting to work, who is also taking children to schools or doing the shopping, and the more time she spends on that road, the less time she spends doing things of higher value. So if you speak to her, she’s going to say, ‘This is a good bill.'”
Cassidy also said the framework, which allocates tens of billions of dollars to “resilience to the changing climate,” according to the White House, should appeal to “communities which have been flooded [and] which have been endangered” in light of recent hurricanes devastating some regions of the United States.
“If you put your finger up in the air, you’re going to feel a breeze blowing in favor of this bill,” he added.
Cassidy signaled Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may end up supporting the proposal, saying, “If we can pull this off, I think Mitch will favor it.”
The Louisiana Republican noted McConnell did not like Biden walking back a conditional veto threat of the legislation.
Biden acknowledged in a Saturday statement that his Friday comments that he wouldn’t sign the bipartisan infrastructure deal “if [it] is the only thing that comes to me” was misleading in that it “created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to,” which was “certainly not my intent.”
“I expect in the coming months, this summer before the fiscal year is over, that we will have voted on this bill, the infrastructure bill, as well as voted on the budget resolution,” Biden had said on Friday, a day after a small group of Senate Democrats and Republicans gathered with him to announce a $1.2 trillion deal. “But if this is the only thing that comes to me, I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem.”
Republicans have generally opposed Biden’s American Families Plan, which would raise taxes to pay for new and expanded social programs. Republican opposition means Senate Democrats would have to use the process of budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority of votes, to pass the legislation without any GOP support.
Republicans staunchly object to tax increases, while Democrats have echoed Biden’s vow not to raise taxes on those earning below $400,000 per year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently announced plans to support a two-track approach, a bipartisan track that would require a supermajority for passage, as well as a budget reconciliation track, thereby bypassing the need for GOP support.
The Democratic leaders told reporters they hope to have both up for a vote in the House and Senate in July.
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Original Author: Carly Roman