U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, spoke on the Senate floor about House Democrats’ complete dereliction of duty in allowing highway programs to lapse by not passing the bipartisan infrastructure package. In her floor speech, Senator Capito also details multiple egregious environmental provisions in the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending reconciliation package.
SHOWING THEIR CARDS: “By shuttering our federal surface transportation program last Friday, House Democrats made it abundantly clear that despite their rhetoric, physical infrastructure is not a priority. Instead, they say that roads, bridges, broadband, water infrastructure—all infrastructure items that Americans in both parties support—are only worth funding if they are accompanied by another $3.5 trillion in spending.”
DEMOCRATS FUMBLE ON HIGHWAY PROGRAMS: “Our bipartisan work in the Senate advanced the infrastructure football to the one yard line. We were there! But somehow, House Democrats were still unable to reach the goal line. Last Friday, our federal surface transportation programs lapsed for the first time in over a decade. After months of talking about rebuilding American infrastructure, House Democrats shut down the Federal Highway Administration, pressing pause on some of the most important infrastructure programs in this county. It was a short lapse, but it was a lapse. A lapse in these programs would be unacceptable in any circumstances. But House Democrats decided to let the programs expire, rather than vote on bipartisan legislation that sat on their desks for more than seven weeks during their August recess.”
HOLDING BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL HOSTAGE: “Over on the House side, Democrats are holding core infrastructure legislation hostage in an effort to force members of their party to come on board with separate legislation that would waste $3.5 trillion on social programs unrelated to infrastructure. The $3.5 trillion package is what my colleague Senator Manchin correctly described as ‘fiscal insanity.’ House Democrats are telling the American people that if they want road and bridges, they have to accept trillions in unrelated spending and unrelated tax policies.”
INFLATION HURTS FAMILIES: “Inflation is real, and it’s impacting the day-to-day families… It’s hurting American families. And yet, even with these big red flags, the Biden administration and my Democrat colleagues want to spend an additional $3.5 trillion dollars. And if that’s not enough, they want to enact the largest tax hikes in decades. These efforts will hit American families with higher prices and greater tax burdens at a time when they can least afford it.”
NO ENERGY TRANSITION: “Let’s be clear: All of us, Republicans and Democrats alike want a cleaner energy future, and we’re moving towards that. The proof of that is our work together on technologies like carbon capture and utilization. But this rushed reconciliation package doesn’t allow time for any sort of transition. Wind and solar energies still have serious gaps—they’re growing, yes—but they still have serious gaps in reliability and stability. When the wind stops blowing and the sun isn’t shining, our country still relies heavily on coal and natural gas and nuclear. But instead of recognizing this reality and investing in technologies to accelerate carbon capture, which would lead to less emissions, this package punishes companies that are already cutting their emissions.”
CEPP PUTS COAL MINERS OUT OF WORK: “This goal [Clean Electricity Performance Program] is very unrealistic as fossil fuels now provide more than 60% of our nation’s electricity today in 2021. The United Mine Workers of America wrote that this plan ‘would eliminate virtually all of West Virginia’s coal generation fleet of baseload power plants well before the end of this decade. All related coal mining and utility jobs would be lost, with severe adverse impacts on families, communities, and the local and state tax revenues associated with mining, electric generation, and electric power generation.’ This program is an explicit attempt to put energy producers out of work. It would use tax dollars to get rid of coal and natural gas jobs in states like mine using a convoluted system to try to mask the hit to electricity tax payers.”