Kurt Darling

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike Braun is holding firm on his refusal to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill being discussed in the U.S. Senate.

The 2,700 pages of text in the bill were released to the public on Monday. After reading over it, Braun is having a hard time wrapping his head around how lawmakers who wrote the bill came to around $1 trillion in spending, $550 billion in new spending.

“We’ve not done a budget in literally 20-years where you put the homework into it,” Braun told Newsmax. “You look at all the stuff. Do you need more? Do you need less? 27-hundred and 46 pages worth. You’re going to get a ton of pork in there, a lot of stuff doesn’t even have to do with infrastructure.”

Breaking it down, the bill’s $550 billion in new spending: $110 billion will be allocated for repairing roads and bridges, $54 billion will go to public transit and including electric vehicles and buses, and $66 billion will be invested in passenger and freight railroads.

Along with what he calls non-infrastructure spending in the bill, Braun is uncomfortable with the means of paying for the bill. Senators say it will be paid for using leftover COVID relief money among other things. Braun said a lot of the money to pay for it will be borrowed.

“Those are squishy pay-fors, not hard pay-fors,” Braun said. “Like we did here maybe three for four decades ago. 1993 was the last time that we raised taxes on roads and bridges.”

Braun is insisting that the federal government look to Indiana as an example of paying for infrastructure upgrades. He says user fees are the way to go since, which the state has done through things like tolls. Braun said that’s how Indiana lawmakers have had to do it since states don;t have the luxury of borrowing as much money as the federal government.