The final price tag for infrastructure legislation being pushed by Democrats will come in at much more than they'll admit to at a time when the country can't afford it, Sen. John Barrasso said Sunday.
"(Speaker) Nancy Pelosi says there is not a penny for roads, bridges, or airports unless and until the Senate passes this much bigger, as you say, $5 trillion bill," the Wyoming Republican told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" host Maria Bartiromo. "That wasn't a negotiation...she's not just a highjacker but an arsonist because she's putting fuels on the flames. The people who will suffer under this is people living under fixed income and seniors, people getting by paycheck to paycheck. All Americans will pay through inflation, through taxes."
And even though President Joe Biden has said the measures will be funded through additional taxes on businesses and the wealthy, "you cannot fund something this expensive without everybody in America getting hit," said Barrasso.
He added that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to pass two bills; the "true" infrastructure bipartisan bill for $1.2 trillion and the "massive spending bill (and) liberal wish list" at $3.5 trillion.
"It is the largest spending bill in the history of the United States and if this passes, people are going to suffer significantly," Barrasso warned. "They are going to feel the heavy weight of the taxes, the ongoing inflation problems, and the debt. It is going to chew away and eat at people's paychecks and eat at their savings. People are already paying because of inflation, higher dollars for gas, housing, you name it and this is spending on top of the $6 trillion already spent in coronavirus relief."
He added that Schumer has said that "nobody goes home" on August recess until both measures are passed.
"I'm willing to stay in Washington until hell freezes over to stop bad things in our country," the senator said.
Parts of the bipartisan infrastructure bill are starting to emerge, said Barrasso, and even with its focus on money for roads, bridges, and "things that people need," Republicans must still be able to examine the measure and not vote for it through a Pelosi-style "first you have to pass it and then you find out what's in it," said Barrasso.
"The best way to pay for this is to repurpose COVID relief funds that have already been committed but not yet spent," said Barrasso, adding that he doesn't yet know what's in the legislation. "The biggest problem is Nancy Pelosi has said she will handcuff the two together and the infrastructure with spending monstrosity with reckless tax and spending."
Being from Wyoming, Barrasso said his biggest concern with the infrastructure legislation concerns its energy component.
"They have this approach that I think is not the right one for America," he said. "Under President (Joe) Biden, we are becoming more energy-dependent and I think it's the wrong way to go."
He also commented on the changing guidelines for mask-wearing, and said that the best message to advance is that vaccines work, but he said the "chaos" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should lead to lawsuits for "medical malpractice" for the organization and for Biden because "they flip-flopped."
"How are you going to encourage people to get vaccinated, hey, even if you get vaccinated, you still have to wear a mask?" said Barrasso. "At the same time, you have a wide-open southern border, 180,000 undocumented, unvaccinated people each month coming to the United States carrying diseases, almost about every conceivable (disease) in the world, bringing them into America unchecked."
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