Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, appeared on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday to discuss several topics including the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which President Joe Biden is expected to sign into law on Monday.
Stephanopoulos pressed Barrasso on why he voted against the package, citing a White House fact sheet that says Wyoming would receive $1.8 billion for federal-aid-highway apportioned programs, $225 million for bridge repair and replacement, $100 million for broadband internet expansion, $335 million allotted to water infrastructure.
“I was one of the original negotiators at the White House with President Biden and ultimately I voted against it because they did use a lot of budget gimmicks and they are adding $256 billion to the debt,” said Barrasso. “Some of the issues in there, in terms of energy, I think is going to make energy even more expensive and I think is going to make the grid less reliable.”
“And of course the big thing is they handcuffed this infrastructure bill to this big, massive, tax and spending bill, which every Republican is united in our efforts to try to drive a stake through the heart of this effort which the Democrats are pushing because they are so addicted to taxing and spending.”
Barrasso, who is the Chair of the Senate Republican Conference, also criticized Biden’s scaled-back Build Back Better plan, which he claimed would increase inflation and negatively impact Americans, especially those on fixed incomes.
“The problem is the Democrats are now saying we want to go all in with this massive tax and spending bill, which is going to harm American families,” said Barrasso. “People are going to pay higher prices. They’re going to be higher taxes and, of course, we’re going to see an increase in the debt.”
“This is not really just $2 trillion,” he continued. “I think it’s much closer to $4 trillion because what the Democrats have added in after their election losses has been tax breaks for millionaires.”
Asked why he voted against infrastructure bill despite benefits to his state Wyoming, @SenJohnBarrasso tells @GStephanopoulos Democrats used “budget gimmicks.”
“They handcuffed this infrastructure bill to this big, massive tax and spending bill.” https://t.co/YPH88OvN4P pic.twitter.com/ZjIkKsAmIH
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 14, 2021
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA ABC NEWS:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the infrastructure bill he’s going to sign into law tomorrow, bipartisan infrastructure bill. The White House has put out a fact sheet showing the benefits to your state of Wyoming. I want to show it to our audience right now.
They say $1.8 billion for highways, $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs, $100 million for broadband, $335 million for water infrastructure, and $72 million for airports.
Why did you vote against a bill that provides so many benefits to your state?
BARRASSO: Well, you know, I was one of the original negotiators at the White House with President Biden, and ultimately, I voted against it because they did use a lot of budget gimmicks and they are adding $256 billion to the debt, and some of the issues in there in terms of energy I think is going to make energy even more expensive, and I think it’s going to make the grid less reliable.
And then, of course, the big thing is they handcuffed this infrastructure bill to this big, massive tax and spending bill, which every Republican is united in our efforts to drive a stake through the heart of this effort which the Democrats are pushing because they are so addicted to taxing and spending.