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Sen. Cruz on Infrastructure Bill: “It’s a Trap”

Urges his Senate colleagues to vote against infrastructure package that will lead to the ‘cruel tax’ of inflation

August 5, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today took to the Senate floor to slam the bait and switch of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package with a $3.5 trillion Democrat wish list. Read excerpts of his remarks below.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: Liberal Spending Wish List Spends Too Much Money and is Not Paid For

"I rise today to discuss the mammoth $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill before the Senate. On Sunday night, we finally got to see the 2,700 page infrastructure bill that we will be voting on sometime tomorrow or Saturday. And what we saw is that Democrats want to give billions of dollars to unelected bureaucrats in the Biden administration to spend however they please. This bill spends $21.5 billion to create a new office of the Department of Energy called the Office of clean energy demonstrations, which would give President Biden's Secretary of Energy the power to use taxpayer dollars to invest in whatever green energy initiatives she likes, reminiscent of Solyndra, we could have the same bankruptcies at taxpayer expense. This bill spends $24 million in taxpayer dollars to preserve the water in San Francisco Bay. And the Long Island Sound would receive $106 million in taxpayer dollars. As the New York Times reported, ‘Climate resiliency programs would receive their largest burst of government spending ever from this bill.' And the Wall Street Journal rightly called it, ‘A major down payment on President Biden's Green New Deal.' That's exactly what this bill is.

"Furthermore, this bill institute's a new tax on 42 chemicals that will raise prices for everyday consumers. Texans will bear the brunt of these higher prices, because 40 percent of the manufacturing plants that this new tax will hit are in Texas alone. But this tax will also hurt Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and other manufacturing states. Indeed, this provision will also likely make many of the raw materials used in infrastructure projects more expensive. I filed an amendment that would strike this harmful provision. Not only will manufacturing plants in Texas be hurt by this new tax, but for some of these plants, the new taxes will exceed profit margins, leading to plant closings and more and more manufacturing moving to China. In effect, the loss of these plants would result in lower tax revenue to the federal government, not more. Imports would rise, U.S. exports would fall and production in the United States would fall as well. Ironically, this infrastructure bill also tries to grow more critical minerals manufacturing and personal protective equipment, or PPE, manufacturing in America. But it places a brand new tax on both of these things. PPE is made with many of the 42 chemicals this infrastructure bill now wants to tax. And four of these chemicals are on the Biden administration's own critical minerals list. The old saying was: if it moves, tax it, and if it stops moving, subsidize it. Well, this bill taxes the things that we're trying to get moving in the first place. This bill is also a liberal spending wish list.

"The fact of the matter is, this bill spends too much money, and it's not paid for. We're told that this bill would, in part, be paid for with $205 billion and repurposed COVID relief funds. But when the bill text was released, magically, those funds weren't there. It became apparent instead, only about $50 billion in COVID funds was being used to help pay for this bill. Some have claimed that the bill is paid for, but by any measure, the pay-for's are quite simply gimmicks. This is a bait and switch. And the bill is not paid for like we were promised.

"At a time when we spent trillions of dollars already to combat the deadly pandemic, at a time we are seeing rising inflation across the country. We can't responsibly be spending yet another trillion dollars. This bill is part of a much broader problem we're having with reckless federal spending. Furthermore, suppose this so-called bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was being offered in exchange for the Democrats' massive $3.5 trillion reckless tax-and-spend bill. In that case, I could understand the logic of doing the smaller bill instead of the massive bill. But it's not being offered in exchange. The Democrats have made it clear that they're going to pass this infrastructure bill, take every penny of the spending, and then turn around and try to ram through their massive $3.5 trillion tax and spend bill right on top of this, which means we're looking at about $5 trillion of spending in just those two bills. That means trillions of dollars in new taxes. If you pay taxes, they're going up. It means corporate taxes are going up. It means individual taxes are going up. It means small business taxes are going up. It means capital gains taxes are going up. It means the death tax is going up. All while our debt is going through the roof, and inflation is rising across the country.

"Republicans shouldn't play a part in this. We should instead say enough is enough. Look, the American people want good roads and good bridges. I want good roads and good bridges. But what this bill does reminds me of the old swindler who says over and over again, ‘I'm going to sell you a bridge. I'm going to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.' Because the proponents of this bill are selling the same bridge over and over and over again. They go on TV, and they say bridges are popular, roads are popular. You want roads and bridges. Therefore, we've got to do this. Let's see what the actual spending looks like to understand the shell game that's being played.

"This bill has about $100 billion for roads and bridges. You know what, if the Democrats want to pass just that $100 billion for roads and bridges, I bet you we could get 90 senators to agree with that. We could be done and go home this evening. And let me remind my fellow senators $100 billion; it's a lot of money. We're not talking about $5 in a soda machine in the hallway. We are not talking about $100. We're talking $100 billion, which in history is massive spending. But compare that to the $1.2 trillion in this bill. It's not Monopoly money. It's not make-believe money. It's taxpayer dollars. And it's money we're borrowing from China and debt that we're putting on our kids and grandkids. And the roads and bridges part of this bill, in the context of the larger spending free for all in Washington, is about 1/86 the explosive spending going on.

"Let's compare that to the overall spending going on in this bill and the total spending so that it's not in a silo or a vacuum. It's all together. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill today is roughly 12 times the new spending on roads and bridges. So they're selling the roads and bridges, but the bill is 12 times bigger. But that isn't it. A few months ago, the Democrats ran through a massive so-called COVID relief bill. Only 9 percent of the bill actually went to healthcare spending for COVID. That was $1.9 trillion. So that was roughly 19 times larger than what's being spent on roads and bridges. Mind you, we keep being told roads and bridges are good. That bill was 19 times that. And then the massive $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend bill that is coming right after this, that the Democrats intend to ram through, that is 35 times the spending on roads and bridges. And when you add up the spending from December 2020 to now with the Biden budget request, with the Democrats tax and spend reconciliation proposal, with this infrastructure bill, with the so-called COVID relief bill, and with the emergency spending in December, you hit a whopping $9.5 trillion. That is 86 times the new spending on roads and bridges."

[...]

"These numbers are real. To put that in perspective, indexed for inflation, the United States government spent $4.1 trillion to win World War Two $4.1 trillion to win World War Two, the greatest generation scaling the cliffs of Normandy, beating the Nazis. The Democrats, in seven months are spending more than double what we spent to win World War Two. This is reckless. And it's unprecedented. As Admiral Akhbar said, in Star Wars, it's a trap. This is a trap. Listen, for Democrats to what they campaigned on. If you're a Democrat, you want to raise taxes and raise spending. You want more debt from China. That's what Democrats do.

[...]

"The spending that we're looking at, I want to repeat again, is more than double what the United States spent to win World War Two in seven months. If you care about your kids, if you care about your grandkid - that's irresponsible. And let me tell you something, it's causing inflation across this country. You know, families at home in Texas and Virginia across the country families, they go to the grocery store, they buy food for that week, they buy milk, they buy cereal, they buy fruit. They're noticing the cost of groceries going up and up and up. You get to the cash register, and gosh, that cost a lot more than it cost a month ago. And it costs a lot more than it cost three months ago. And it costs a lot more than it costs a year ago. Then when you go out and fill up your car with gas, you notice the cost has gone way, way up. And then maybe you go with your daughter to Home Depot to buy some lumber. And you look at the prices of the lumber and you think is this a typo? How did these prices go so high? And then maybe you go to buy a new house and you see the prices of a new house, the average new house going up 20 to $30,000."

[...]

"Inflation is a cruel tax. It's a tax on the middle class. It's a tax on working men and women. It's a tax on anyone with a fixed income. And it's a tax in particular on seniors. Millions of seniors across this country on Social Security struggling to make ends meet, their income isn't going up. But thanks to the Democrats reckless spending and endless printing of money, their expenses are going up each and every month. This is wrong, this is harmful. The inflation bomb we are facing is hurting Americans."

[...]

"We can't afford it. It's irresponsible. I urge every senator to say enough is enough. Stop the madness."

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