Nobody should be surprised that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is warning that House Democrats won’t pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless the Senate also passes $3.5 trillion in spending, as she and other progressive lawmakers have been clear all along on what they want, Rep. Byron Donalds said Monday.
“They have been consistent on this, whether it’s AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, they have been consistent about this since the beginning,” the Florida Republican said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “They want all of this, not just a slice of cake. (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi has been saying the same thing. Nobody should be shocked by this.”
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper Sunday that the House will “uphold our end of the bargain and not pass the bipartisan bill until we get all of these investments in” if the Senate doesn’t pass the companion spending bill.
“Bipartisan doesn’t always mean that it’s in the interests of the public good, frankly,” she told Tapper. “Sometimes, there’s a lot of corporate lobbyist giveaways in some of these bills.”
Donalds, though, said Monday that the “bigger thing to be shocked by” is what’s happening with Senate Republicans who have agreed to the bipartisan infrastructure deal, while only thinking they’re getting that bill without the larger Democrat-favored spending bill being passed through reconciliation.
“(That) is simply not true,” said Donalds. “Either the Democrats are going to get what they want in the House, which means they are going to pass not only this $1 trillion bill but another $3.5 trillion passed behind it, or they are going to get nothing. That’s what’s going on right now in Congress.”
Meanwhile, Donalds laughed when he asked if the money from the infrastructure bill and the spending measure will be well spent.
“Is that a joke?” he said. “Absolutely not. I’m not confident that money is going to be well-spent. Tell me a time Washington ever spent something well … if the government can’t spend $40 billion how is it going to spend a trillion? There are still trillions of dollars from the coronavirus packages that have not been spent and we are going to take this money into the street, too.”
The spending bills, he added, will “cause more problems than fixing the infrastructure issue that our country does have.”
“What should have happened is a significantly more scaled-down version,” said Donalds. “You already know the Progressive left would never want anything to do with that. That would be the end of the negotiations.”