Republicans Can't Guarantee They Won't Try To Take Credit For Infrastructure Bill They Opposed

Gage Skidmore / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said on Monday that Republican lawmakers may take credit for infrastructure projects that come out of the bill Congress passed on Friday — even if those GOP lawmakers voted against the legislation.

Scott made the comment during an appearance on CNN when asked directly by host Brianna Keilar whether Republicans who voted against the legislation would commit to not bragging about the projects.

"Of course not," Scott said in response. "There's probably something good in every bill that passes, that doesn't mean you support the entire bill."

The House late Friday night passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that funds projects that include rebuilding roads and bridges, enhancing public transportation, fixing water pipes to eradicate lead poisoning in communities across the country, and bringing broadband internet to rural communities that don't have reliable internet access.

President Joe Biden celebrated its passage in a speech Saturday morning.

"The House of Representatives passed an Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act," Biden said. "That's a fancy way of saying a bipartisan infrastructure bill — a once-in-a-generation investment that's going to create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure — our roads, our bridges, our broadband, a whole range of things — to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity. And it puts us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with China and other large countries and the rest of the world."

But 200 House Republicans voted against the infrastructure package, after 30 GOP senators voted against it when the upper chamber passed the bill in August.

Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect to the Senate and is fighting to win back a majority in the chamber, was one of the 30 GOP senators who voted against the legislation. But he wouldn't commit to ensuring that those 30 senators don't claim credit for the projects the legislation funds.

That's par for the course for Republican lawmakers, however, many of whom this year have either celebrated or taken credit for things they tried unsuccessfully to block the Democratic-controlled Congress from passing.

In March, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) bragged about billions of dollars in funding to the restaurant industry that was part of the COVID-19 relief bill that not a single GOP lawmaker voted for.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) also claimed credit for public health center grants that flowed to his district from the COVID-19 relief package.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) took credit for the cancellation of planned transit cuts in his area, which were made possible by state and local funding from the COVID-19 relief package.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the time criticized Republicans for their attempts to benefit politically from something they tried to block, saying, "Vote no, take the dough, that's what Republicans do. But that doesn't help people."

A growing number of GOP lawmakers are attacking the 13 Republican lawmakers who did vote for the infrastructure bill.

"RINOS just passed this wasteful $1.2 trillion dollar 'infrastructure' bill," Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tweeted on Saturday. "Pelosi did not have the votes in her party to pass this garbage. Time to name names and hold these fake republicans accountable."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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