Sen. Blunt Decries Infrastructure Bill's Lopsided Focus on Electric Vehicles Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks with reporters in 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:27 AM
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., on Sunday railed at President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan’s lopsided focus on charging stations for electric vehicles over roads, bridges and airports.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Blunt charged only about a third of the massive plan addresses roads.
“I’ve reached out to the White House a couple of times now and said, you've got an easy bipartisan win here if you'll keep this package nearly focused on infrastructure, and then the other 70 or so percent of the package that doesn't have very much too do with infrastructure, if you want to force that in a partisan way, you can still do that,” he said.
“Why would you pass up the opportunity here to focus on roads, bridges, what's happening underground as well as above the ground on infrastructure, broadband, all of which wouldn’t be 40% of this package? And that would be a stretch I think to get all of those things to 40%.”
“There's more in the package for charging stations for electric vehicles, $174 billion, than there is for roads, bridges and airports and ports,” he said, adding, “If you're going to spend all this money on electric vehicles, which I think is part of the future, we need to figure out how electric vehicles pay for using the system just like gas-powered vehicles have always paid for it with a gas tax.”
According to Blunt, most people think infrastructure is primarily roads, bridges, ports and airports, yet “that’s a very small part of what they're calling an infrastructure package that does so much more than infrastructure.”
“I understand the dynamic of taking a popular title and put it, wrapping it around a bill that it's a fairly small percentage of, but it's the difference of whether you have a bipartisan, easy win or a very partisan, broad-based $2.25 trillion package,” he said.
“Every Republican in the Senate who was there in 2017 voted for the 2017 tax bill. To ask them to turn around, and within less than four years, turn that around is a very unlikely thing to happen,” he asserted.
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