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AOC, Other Progressives Threaten To Block Infrastructure 'Candyland' Bill

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New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other House progressives threatened to block a bipartisan “infrastructure” bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday unless a reconciliation bill is also passed, calling parts of the infrastructure bill “Candyland.”

“If there is not a reconciliation bill in the House and if the Senate does not pass a reconciliation bill, we will uphold our end of the bargain and not pass the bipartisan bill until we get all of these investments in,” Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this month on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She added, “And I want to be clear that the investments in the bipartisan bill are not all Candyland. There are some of these — quote, unquote — ‘pay-fors’ that are very alarming that we need to see the language on.

“For example, some of the language around privatizing public infrastructure, putting toll roads, leasing public infrastructure to private entities, are very concerning and should be concerning to every American.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a letter on Tuesday that the majority of its 96 members said in a survey they are “willing to withhold support for the bill until the Senate also adopts a ‘robust’ spending package to fund social programs not covered by the infrastructure bill,” according to Forbes.

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“We specifically asked whether members would commit to withholding a yes vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal — Senate Amendment 2137 to H.R. 3684 — until the Senate has passed budget reconciliation legislation deemed acceptable by the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” the letter said.

“A majority of our respondents affirmed that they would withhold their votes in support of the bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives until the Senate adopted a robust reconciliation package,” it said.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a Saturday tweet prior to the Senate bill’s approval, “If mods want to blow up the infra deal, that’s on them.

“I know this is tough for some to understand, but the US is more than a handful of suburbs- communities outside them aren’t disposable.

“And just bc something is ‘bipartisan’ doesn’t mean it’s good. Look at Wall St bailouts.”

The Senate passed the $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill Tuesday, pushing forward a big item on President Joe Biden’s agenda.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed 69-30 with 19 Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — joining all Democrats to make major investments in the nation’s roads, bridges and railways, among other things.

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“Big news, folks: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal has officially passed the Senate,” Biden tweeted.

“I hope Congress will send it to my desk as soon as possible so we can continue our work of building back better.”

In addition to McConnell, the other GOP senators who voted for the massive legislation were Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Jim Risch of Idaho, Mitt Romney of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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