Here is one 'dangerous' way Mitch McConnell is abandoning his constituents in order to deny Biden a win
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at CPAC in 2013. Image: Gage Skidmore/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would rather his state and Ohio not receive much-needed federal money for a bridge many of his constituents won't cross because they regard it as "dangerous" because the money would be contained in Joe Biden's infrastructure bill.

With the Republican leadership resisting the $2 trillion infrastructure package proposed by the newly-elected president because it would be financed by raising taxes on the rich, residents in Kentucky and Ohio would like to see the Brent Spence Bridge that connects Cincinnati with northern Kentucky replaced.

As the Times notes, the bridge became unusable for six weeks last November due to a fire that followed the crash of a tractor-trailer hauling potassium hydroxide with another truck.

According to the Times, "Daily commutes were snarled. Shipping delays rippled across the eastern United States. And residents who had grown accustomed to intractable fights among politicians over how to update the unsightly and overburdened choke point — and how to pay for it — had a glimmer of hope that, finally, something might get done."

Those hopes are withering away now that McConnell has said he won't agree to help pass Biden's bill.

The top Republican in the Senate admitted as much when asked about the need for a new bridge.

"I can't imagine that somewhere in a multitrillion dollar bill, there wouldn't be money for the Brent Spence Bridge," Mr. McConnell explained while visiting his home state. "Whether that is part of an overall package I could support? I could tell you if it's going to have massive tax increases and trillions more added to the national debt, not likely."

According to the Times, "...the Brent Spence Bridge has become a window into the depth of the political and ideological divide that is shaping the debate in Washington over Mr. Biden's $2.3 trillion plan, so profound that Mr. McConnell — a longtime proponent of fixing the structure — has become its most vocal and hostile opponent."

Trey Grayson, a Kentucky Republican who has strenuously advocated for replacing the bridge pointed out the box McConnell has put himself in with his battle with Biden

"He would love to invest in Kentucky, not just because of his legacy but because he believes in it," he explained. "On the other side, he's the Republican leader of a caucus that doesn't want to cooperate with Biden, doesn't want to spend money, doesn't want to raise corporate taxes and is more willing to vote 'no' than figure out how to make this thing work."

According to the Times, "The Brent Spence Bridge — named for a 16-term Kentucky congressman who retired in 1963, the year it opened — is sturdy enough, but it was designed to accommodate roughly half the amount of traffic it now handles every day. By one estimate, its eight lanes carry freight amounting to 3 percent of the nation's gross domestic product each year, in addition to tens of thousands of daily commuters. Accidents amid the cramped and narrow lanes are frequent and, given that there are no side shoulders on the bridge, harrowing. In an era of booming e-commerce, the situation is only likely to become worse."

One Kentucky resident claimed it has been a problem for years and, despite Ohio and Kentucky being home to top Republicans, nothing is getting done.

"I remember when McConnell started becoming a big person in Washington, we were like, 'Oh, this is great. We're going to get more federal money and we're going to get the bridge done,' " explained Paul Long. "Then we had Boehner, who was the speaker of the House at the same time, people were thinking, 'Yes, definitely going to get it done now.'"

According to Long, he would "do anything I can to avoid" using the bridge.

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