Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) decried on Wednesday the “unholy alliance” of Republicans caving to Democrats, including on infrastructure, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.
Braun spoke to Breitbart News as many Senate Republicans continue to negotiate with President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure package. The legislation has significant Republican support; however, Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have threatened to block the bipartisan proposal until Congress passes the more partisan infrastructure reconciliation bill, which focuses more on climate change and other leftist priorities.
Braun and other Senate Republicans quickly railed against this “unholy” bond between the bipartisan deal and the Democrat reconciliation bill, believing it would greatly expand the welfare state.
Although Braun said forcing a vote on the reconciliation bill with the bipartisan proposal would result in losing “almost all” Republican support for the bills, he decried Republicans for far too often caving to Democrats in an “unholy alliance.”
“It’s not too different in terms of what I call the unholy alliance of where Republicans roll over, in many cases, to the Democrat whims on spending, which is kind of how defense and domestic spending work their way through with these trillion-dollar structural deficits. We generally won’t hold firm on keeping them in line, because we generally want the increases that we feel are necessary on defense. I think defense is the most important thing we do as a federal government … it’s a tool that creates our structural deficits each year because we’re not willing to hold firm on this stuff that we like policy wise.” Braun told Breitbart News.
The revelation that Biden would tie the partisan infrastructure bill to the bipartisan bill led many Senate Republicans to become uneasy over negotiating with Democrats.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the members of the original members of the bipartisan infrastructure group, left the group and said, “You look like a fucking idiot now. I don’t mind bipartisanship, but I’m not going to do a suicide mission.”
The bipartisan deal’s inclusion of additional funds to have the IRS audit Americans has led to the Coalition to Protect American Workers, a group founded by former Mike Pence chief of staff Marc Short, to pressure Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), a member of the bipartisan infrastructure group, to drop support for the bipartisan “infrastructure” deal.
Braun also chided the bipartisan infrastructure bill’s proposed methods to pay for the roughly $1 trillion bill, which would include selling wireless spectrum, increasing IRS funding for audits, and selling oil from the nation’s strategic reserve.
Howard Gleckman, a senior policy fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said that the $500 billion in “pay fors” for the $1 trillion bipartisan bill is largely “pixie dust.”
Braun said that the best way to pay for the bill would be to use the roughly $1 trillion in unspent coronavirus aid funding.
“No way, no way, you’re gonna [go] there in the real pay fors that most of us would go for would be the unspent COVID funds that are sitting there. I mean, that’s estimated to be up close to maybe a trillion dollars. They want to put that on ice for other stuff down the road. And then user fees,” Braun said.
Braun said that Republicans should not fall for the “ploy” of backing a bipartisan deal to get physical infrastructure so that Democrats receive their “soft infrastructure.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.