A plan to rebuild America seems destined to fall to the ‘Just Say No’ ethos of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion package funding a range of infrastructure projects across the country, including rebuilding roads, highways, rail lines, bridges, water and broadband internet.
North Jersey congressmen were able to earmark billions of dollars for the Garden State to improve transportation. Under the bill, almost $12 billion would be allocated for highway and transit upgrades in New Jersey along with at least $7.6 billion for infrastructure projects like the Gateway Tunnel Project.
These projects make sense not only for New Jersey, but for neighboring states as the roads and rails that run through the state are a key competent in driving the nation’s economy.
On top of that, these projects will put to work tens of thousands of our neighbors, helping our local economy bounce back from the devastating effects COVID-19 has wrought.
The Moving Forward Act is just not a bill that repairs roads and bridges going back to last century, but looks forward to the next one, providing monies to curb pollution, fund clean energy projects, boost healthcare access, modernize the U.S. Postal Service and clean drinking water infrastructure.
The bill is about modernizing our economy to fit with the demands of a global society.
But then comes Mitch. Because there is only one highway in Washington that McConnell is concerned about and it is his.
“This so-called infrastructure bill would siphon billions in funding from actual infrastructure to funnel into climate change policies,” McConnell said. “No wonder the White House has declared it ‘not a serious proposal’ and made it clear this will never become law. So naturally, this nonsense is not going anywhere in the Senate.”
If you want to know what the problem is in Washington, just read the above paragraph again. It’s a mentality that because we didn’t come up with it and doesn’t fit my policy goals, my party will not consider it.
A bill to fix our crumbling infrastructure is “nonsense?” Tell that to the thousands of NJ Transit commuters in recent years who have been stuck in the transit tunnels or Penn Station trying to get home on a weeknight, who have missed their child’s ballgame or back to school night.
Officials in Washington will be making defining decisions on all sorts of important issues in the next few years— healthcare, foreign affairs, spending and tax priorities, economy and, yes, climate change. McConnell inactions and refusal to take up legislation because they are not from his party are a mindset this nation can no longer afford.
Needed are people willing to listen to all spectrum of ideas to make the best decisions for the country—not for the next election but the next century.