As the United States Senate debated the bipartisan infrastructure framework, one Republican senator took to social media to dispel disinformation about the bill.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) debunked four items of misinformation that the far-right is spreading about the bill.'"
"Politics isn't a game & we need to stop playing games with rebuilding our country's infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act is a historic investment in our nation's infrastructure. But there's a lot of misinformation out there. Let's clear it up," the Louisiana physician posted to Twitter.
The first piece of disinformation he debunked was on the top of "hard infrastructure."
"Tennesseans will support a bill that actually invests in hard infrastructure and does not add to the deficit, this legislation does neither," Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) claimed.
Tennesseans will support a bill that actually invests in hard infrastructure and does not add to the deficit, this… https://t.co/k1MgTceiFk— Senator Bill Hagerty (@Senator Bill Hagerty) 1628353138.0
Cassidy disagreed with the argument made by his Republican colleague.
"First, this is a HARD infrastructure bill—$110 billion for roads and highways; $65 billion in grants for broadband deployment; $55 billion for water infrastructure, which includes sewage and drainage system improvements; $47 billion for resiliency; $40 billion for bridges across the country; $25 billion for airport improvement projects such as terminal expansions, assistance with planning, rebuilding runways, improving lighting, and funding air navigation facilities; $23 billion for state Drinking Water and Clean Water Revolving Loan Funds; $15 billion to remove lead service lines; $17 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure projects; $10 billion for Ports and Waterways; $3.5 billion for flood mitigation; $3.5 billion to clean up Superfund sites, America's most contaminated areas; $1.5 Billion for Brownfields Grants to revitalized blighted properties," Cassidy noted.
Next, Cassidy addressed to financing of the legislation and whether or not it is paid for.
"This mammoth infrastructure bill is not paid for," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued.
This mammoth infrastructure bill is not paid for. It’s money we’re borrowing from China and debt that we are gifti… https://t.co/PBbJOU1sRG— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz) 1628339126.0
Again, Cassidy disagreed with the argument made by his Republican colleague.
"Second, this bill is fully paid for. We always said CBO wouldn't give us credit for half of our pay-fors. We repurpose $53B in unused Unemployment Insurance, for example. Congress already allocated the money but CBO doesn't acknowledge it. It's a fiscally responsible bill," Cassidy wrote.
The next topic was, bizarrely enough, Critical Race Theory.
This misinformation was spread by Christopher Rufo of the far-right Manhattan Institute.
Critical race theory is infrastructure: –"Transportation equity" –"Digital equity [and] inclusion" –New gov't enti… https://t.co/QWWik1f7tV— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️) 1628013582.0
"Third, Critical Race Theory is not in this bill, never has been. Equity is not a catch-phrase for CRT," Cassidy explained. "Language in this bill DOES NOT change current anti-discrimination laws at all."
The final point was on a mileage tax.
"The infrastructure bill wants to tax you on the miles you drive," Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) argued.
The infrastructure bill wants to tax you on the miles you drive. We already pay tolls, a gas tax and now a tax on… https://t.co/56EzlB1bKf— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1628352088.0
Cassidy debunked the right-wing misinformation.
"Fourth, there is no mileage tax in this bill. What you are hearing is about a study to figure out if such a fee would even be possible for issues like electric cars driving on our streets without paying the gas tax like the rest of us. It does not implement a new tax," Cassidy wrote.
He then offered some shame for those on the far-right pushing the misinformation about the bipartisan legislation.
"It's amazing to me some would be so happy to play politics with this. Guess they live in states with brand new roads, new bridges, new ports, and perfect coastlines. Must be nice," he wrote.