Senate Republicans who voted to start work on a bipartisan infrastructure plan show that there are some members of the party who are returning to the "usual role of being a sensible conservative voice as we try to work out public policy," even if former President Donald Trump doesn't want the measure to pass, former Rep. Barney Frank said in a Newsmax interview Thursday.
"A significant number of the Republicans do want it to pass, the Massachusetts Democrat, , one of the co-sponsors of the landmark Dodd-Frank Act, told Newsmax's "National Report," adding that Trump and most Democrats don't want the measure to succeed.
But Frank said he thinks the legislation will eventually pass the senate and when it gets to the House, there is a "left-wing faction" that will oppose it, but it will still go through.
The Senate on Wednesday voted 67-32 to start work on the infrastructure plan after a group of bipartisan senators agreed on major provisions. During the vote, 17 Republican senators joined with Democrats to move the work forward on the legislation.
Frank said he is encouraged by the prospect and said that the $1 trillion plan will be "money that will be well-spent."
"It's money that will improve the quality of life for many, many Americans," he said. "The country will benefit. It will increase productivity. We always talk about increasing productivity. You can't do that just by telling people to be productive. Infrastructure iss one of the real physical things you can do. People can get places faster and goods can get places faster. So that's very helpful."
Trump, he added, engaged in "angry rhetoric" by blasting Republicans for the agreement, but Frank said he's still optimistic the measure will eventually pass.
"You'll have Republican support in the House for the package," said Frank. "That will offset some Democratic defections, possibly from the left."
When asked if he thinks an infrastructure bill will add to the inflation happening now, he noted that there are some conservatives in states that did not spend COVID funds that were approved last year, and that money is being recycled for use in the bipartisan infrastructure plan.
However, he said he agrees with members of the Federal reserve's board of governors, who are led by a chairperson Trump appointed, who believe the inflation happening now is "probably temporary."
"It is a response to the physical fact that as we have responded so well in recovering from the pandemic, some of the money the federal government has pumped has surged more quickly than supply can keep up with," said Dodd. "It's easier for people who are getting money to go out and buy things."
Fed Chairman Jay Powell and the board's majority believe that supply will catch up, said Frank, and if it doesn't, the chairman will have to raise interest rates again.
"The way that deals with inflation is to slow down the economy by raising interest rates," he added. "If they raise them too high, they choke things up, but interest rates at this point are so low that a shift in direction to make them doesn't put them at the level they were, say in the seventies, under Paul Volcker."
Frank also commented on Biden's "buy American call," and noted that he agreed with Trump's contention that the United States should take a step back from spending a disproportionate amount on defense than its European allies.
"They don't need to be subsidized by America to defend against a very weak Russia," said Frank. " I think the America proposal is a reasonable upset to the undue burden we've carried on behalf of others."
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