Sen. Bill Hagerty said Monday he will not sign off on an accelerated version of the Senate's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, as the quick push to approve it is to distract from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's plans to "light the fuse on the $3.5 trillion debt bomb that's around the corner."
"There was a 2,700-page bill put before us, twice the size of the King James Bible, (with) six days to review that," the Tennessee Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "The whole purpose is to obfuscate ... I stopped that."
Members of the Senate voted to break the Hagerty-led filibuster and advance the massive infrastructure bill, with 18 GOP senators joining with Democrats to shut down debate on the bill Saturday. They reconvened Sunday at noon to resume the chamber's consideration of the bill, reports CNN.
But Hagerty on Monday said by trying to keep the debate alive, his move gave his 99 other colleagues a chance to review the legislation and understand it, and to further allow the American public to see what's in the legislation.
"This brought sunshine to the process," said Hagerty. "A member of the bipartisan committee that put this together said look, I'm not going to be able to vote for this anymore after reviewing the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) score."
The move also put pressure on members of the House who are in swing districts and hearing from their constituents "the same way I am in Tennessee," said Hagerty. "This is far too big. Far too monstrous. There is not enough hard infrastructure in it and far too much debt for our children."
Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which includes spending increases and tax breaks that are aimed at strengthening environmental and social agenda items. If passed, the measure will funnel federal resources into healthcare, education, family services, and more, with much of the spending to be funded through increasing taxes paid by the rich and by corporations.
"That's a massive amount of money, the biggest social program set off since the 1960s since Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society' program," said Hagerty. "We cannot do this in the middle of the night. Nancy Pelosi has made this clear that his infrastructure will be held hostage until she gets the $3.5 trillion completely partisan bill they want to pass through a very different medium, where we use only 50 votes and bring Kamala Harris in to push it across the finish lane. The American people don't want to see this."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that she will not take up the smaller bill until "she gets the $3.5 trillion debt bomb in her hands," said Hagerty.
"President (Joe) Biden revealed the strategy within two hours," he added. "Of course, he is not going to sign it until the $3.5 trillion package is on his desk. He is doing them in tandem. Chuck Schumer calls this a two-track process (but) he is moving immediately to track two. As soon as he gets the infrastructure bill out of the way moving to the $3.5 trillion package, he wants to light that fuse and leave for vacation."
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