WASHINGTON–Mike Braun is the antithesis of the culture of spending that ecists in the current Congress, and to him the infrastructure bill that may come to a vote soon, is everything he’s been preaching against since his campaign for the Senate. He’s critical of everyone who approves of borrowing to get the bill paid for, including fellow Republicans.
“It’s delivering on a fairly popular subject, infrastructure. And, it covers a lot of areas where there is need,” said Braun, on a call with reporters from DC Thursday. “You still have to be honest that it’s not based upon true pay-fors.”
Braun has suggested other ways besides borrowing to pay for the roads, bridges and broadband and many other projects included in the $1 trillion, 2706 page bill, which could end up with amendments before the process is over and a vote is taken.
He said fellow Republican senators, which includes Indiana’s Todd Young, are willing to let some of the fiscal concerns go because they have indulged in the long-held DC traditions of deal-making to get what they want out of the bill, which Braun has classified as “pork”.
“They just think it’s more important to at least have a bipartisan effort on a popular area and they’re not being honest about the pay-fors,” he said, adding that Republicans who have been a part of that deal-making and spending culture would be hypocritical to speak badly of the legislation at hand.
“The folks that are pushing it know who’s gonna vote for it. That ooks like it’s gonna speed itself up.”
Braun criticized the pacing of the impending vote.
“Just here in the last few hours it looks it could all cascade into getting done over the next three to four days,” he said.
Ever mournful of the current proceedings, the senator said the process could be more deliberate, slower, and could be done with proper budgeting.
“It is a new frenzy almost in trying to force all this spending through the system and I don’t think it is of all that urgency,” he said. “Infrastructure to me, next to defending the country, should be two things that are important in the federal government and you do it with budgeting. You hold all the places that you’re gonna allocate money to to be accountable for it.”
Braun said he believes Democrats believe government is a “growth business”.
“The sad thing is is there will be a sugar high in the economy because all the folks that benefit from this, of course, want it. In my two and a half years of being here, that’s across the board and that’s on both sides of the aisle.”
Braun said he’s hopeful that the taste for spending will soon grow sour to the majority of Congress, as the country spends by the trillions and builds unprecedented debt.
“I hope that there’s some type of abatement.”