Democrats are rejecting the Republicans' counteroffer to President Joe Biden's multi-trillion infrastructure and jobs plan because they are operating in a "100% partisan manner," but there is still a great deal of money left over from the COVID relief packages that could be spent rather than pushing the nation further into debt, Sen. Ron Johnson said Friday.
"We still have $1 trillion of $4 trillion we authorized in 2020 still unspent," the Wisconsin Republican said on Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria." "I am for infrastructure. Roads are being ignored for far too long. We've over-authorized spending. Let's repurpose that amount of money so we don't have to borrow and we don't have to further mortgage our children's future."
Thursday, Senate Republicans unveiled a $568 billion infrastructure package to counter Biden's $2.3 trillion plan and called it a good-faith effort toward bipartisan negotiations on the subject.
The proposal comes in at less than the $600 billion to $800 billion bills that the party's members floated earlier this week and carries a more narrow focus on both traditional infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, and on broadband access.
While Biden's plan calls for higher taxes as funding, the GOP plan would be fully paid through user fees for items such as electric vehicles, as well as unspent federal funds, like the COVID money, and state and local contributions on the state and municipal levels.
Democrats say the plan does not provide adequate money to repair the nation's infrastructure, and that its reliance on use fees will harm working people.
"I would suggest we carefully take a look at whatever we already passed as COVID relief, figure out what has not yet been spent, and spend that money on infrastructure," said Johnson.
But with Democrats in charge of the House, Senate and White Hosue, "they're jamming through as much as they can," said Johnson.
"You have the so-called COVID relief bill 2 at the beginning of the year at $1.9 trillion, with only 10% related to COVID," said Johnson, in addition to the president's infrastructure plan when "12% or 20% is infrastructure."
Democrats also want to pack the U.S. Supreme Court, turn Washington, D.C., into a state, raise taxes, and use reconciliation to "jam it through while they can," said Johnson.
And, he added, people are already suffering from the government's spending.
"If you are a retiree, and you are on a fixed income, what kind of return are you getting on savings?" said Johnson. "As inflation takes off, those same retirees are going to be harmed and the people in the lower end of the spectrum. There will be consequences to all of this deficit spending and growing debt."
Biden has also put a "drag on our economy" by reversing all of former President Donald Trump's "positive policies" and overregulated the economy, as well as what is being done at the border, said Johnson.
He added that Vice President Kamala Harris would be the "last person" he would put in charge of the border issues as she was "completely uninterested" in border security while serving on his Senate committee.
"The Biden administration knows full well exactly what the impact of their policies is going to be," said Johnson. "(They were) warned if he reversed policies this crisis will take off."
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