Estimating what a piece of legislation will cost is more of an art than a science in our nation’s capital.
While appraisals of the bipartisan infrastructure package’s price have hovered around $550 billion, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., revealed the true price tag of the deal last week: $5 trillion, and a fundamental change in Americans’ relationship to their government.
“I would say that if the bipartisan infrastructure bill falls apart then everything would fall apart,” Sen. Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill last Monday. “If one falls apart, how do you do the other one?”
Though many Republicans have tried to delink the two proposals, for Democrats they remain as President Biden first described them: inextricably intertwined.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has repeatedly spoke of these two bills as one in the same. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has gone so far as to say that the House of Representatives will not vote on one without the other.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders has confirmed that Senator Manchin’s axiom works both ways: No reconciliation bill, no infrastructure package.
Democrats in Congress and President Biden are building an inflation bomb with their unprecedented deficit spending proposal, and the Republicans falling for this infrastructure bait-and-switch are lighting the fuse.
And though Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has stood up to say that Democrats $3.5 trillion estimated price is too high, it doesn’t matter if the final number is $2.5 trillion or $1 trillion. We don’t have the money, and the taxes it’ll take to get it will hobble our recovering economy.
Michael K. Braun is an American businessman and politician serving as the junior United States senator from Indiana. Previously, he represented the 63rd district in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2014 to 2017.