By M.D. Kittle
President Joe Biden did his victory lap on infrastructure Wednesday in Superior, celebrating a $1.2 trillion infrastructure law filled with liberal wish list items.
U.S. reps. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) and Pete Stauber (R-Duluth). who represent the congressional districts where Biden landed and held his campaign photo-op, called B.S. on Biden’s boasts.
The lawmakers, among 200 Republicans who voted against the mammoth spending package, said protecting the nation’s infrastructure is key to advancing commerce and maintaining a robust economy. But the Democrat-led spending binge is a “Trojan horse” for the socialist agenda.
“Let us be clear – we support funding for the Great Lakes and the Twin Ports. However, only a fraction of the Biden Administration’s ‘infrastructure’ spending is dedicated to real infrastructure needs – while pouring billions into ‘green’ giveaways and Big City public transit systems, short-changing rural America,” Tiffany and Stauber said.
The funding plan delivers about $110 billion in road, bridges and other projects that fall under traditional infrastructure — less than 10 percent of the total.
There is indeed $39 billion for public transit systems, $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations and as much for electric school buses. Another $66 billion marked for Amtrak and high-speed rail.
Tiffany and Stauber say American consumers are paying the price for Biden-led runaway spending.
“As a direct result of Biden’s wasteful spending, Americans are now struggling with the highest inflation rate in 40 years. Rising prices punish every single American at the grocery store, and gas prices are up almost 50% in the last 12 months, making our everyday lives more difficult and expensive,” the lawmakers said.
Biden sold his legislative success in a region still smarting from his administration’s extreme environmental position. Like he did with the Keystone XL Pipeline, Biden killed “the prospect of thousands of good paying union jobs” in canceling federal mineral leases in Minnesota. His Department of the Interior in January struck a blow to Twin Metals Minnesota’s plans for an underground copper, nickel and precious metals mine.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has said the federal action “raises significant questions about the feasibility of Twin Metals’ project as proposed.” It’s a significant loss to the state and to the U.S. economy and national security.
“This is a classic bait and switch, and our constituents aren’t falling for Biden’s hypocrisy,” the lawmakers said.
As Mandy Gunasekara wrote in The Hill, the administration’s decision to effectively kill the project is antithetical to the president’s stated climate and energy goals, which need a substantial, and stable, supply of minerals to operate.
“The metals are necessary components to modern life and crucial to the expanded development of green energy technologies,” Gunasekara wrote. The cobalt mined from Twin Metals could be used to build lithium-ion batteries, the nickel could be used in advanced battery storage technologies and the copper could be used in solar panels and wind turbines.
But Biden undercut his own policy aims again in the name of politics.
“We welcome the President to change his tactics and bridge the divide between rural, blue-collar workers and his supporters on the coasts by putting forth policies that will create jobs, not kill them; make us energy and mineral independent, not dependent on adversarial nations; and make the federal government live within its means, not cripple our children and grandchildren with debt for unwanted socialist programs,” they said.