Sen. Mike Braun: Biden, Dems are building an inflation bomb. Republicans must not help them light the fuse
Senator Mike Braun
The bill anticipates receiving a large amount of funding from recouping fraudulently-paid enhanced federal unemployment payments. Much like the "tax-gap," estimates for how much fraudulent unemployment insurance was paid out and how much can be recouped is conjecture.
Repurposing money the federal government previously wasted shouldn’t count as paid-for.
This bill anticipates $49 billion in "savings" from delaying the implementation of President Trump’s Medicare Part D rebate rule. Raising drug prices on seniors shouldn’t be a pay-for, it’s just wrong.
The bill estimates $8.7 billion from the mandatory sequester, which is unlikely to materialize considering these sequesters never get done because Congress doesn't follow any of our own budget rules.
And while I’m glad to see the Congressional Budget Office using dynamic scoring to incorporate return-on-investment for infrastructure spending in its cost estimates for the bill, which they previously would not apply to the increase in revenues we were expected to reap due to a hot economy spurred by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the 33% ROI estimated by this framework appears to be based on little but wishful thinking.
Sen. Braun: ‘No Way’ I’ll Be Able to Read All 2,702 Pages of Infrastructure Bill
At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Braun, “Will you be able to read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before you vote on it?”
The Senator replied, “No way, so I’ll go through whatever the summaries are. And I’m one that always votes on principle, not the concoctions that we put together to try to get around them. So, I’m pretty certain how I am going to vote at this point.”
BRAUN SAYS THERE IS TOO MUCH NON-INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING IN BIPARTISAN DEAL
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.”…
“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.”
Senate Agrees To Infrastructure Package Deal
BRAUN: So I got here 2 1/2 years ago when we were 18 trillion in debt. Now close to 28 trillion - those are record levels for our country. And we were investors and savers coming out of World War II when it was almost this high as a percentage of our GDP. And now we're spenders and consumers, so...
SIMON: I have to interrupt for a moment, Senator.
SIMON: That was a debt that was largely run up under the previous Republican administration, wasn't it?
BRAUN: And I blame this across the board. Republicans, technically since they make this an issue often, arguably more to blame than Democrats where they're out there. They believe the federal government is that vehicle to do the things they'd like to see done and are not shy about borrowing the money or maybe raising revenues, which always has an economic growth trade-off. Regardless, my worry is that for the number of people that look to the federal government for defending the country infrastructure, our entitlement programs, we are not putting ourselves in a strong position for down the road. Kids and grandkids will have to shoulder the debt and fix the process that's broken. That's my issue.
Infrastructure bill clears procedural vote
Indiana Senator Mike Braun says he’s against the measure because of funding concerns.
“We’re not using any of the normal methods of dedicated funding, which would be called ‘user fees’, on any type of hard infrastructure because that takes political will,” said Senator Braun. “You have to create that connection between a user fee and the use of infrastructure, and no one even wants to do that.”
Senator Braun does believe the infrastructure bill will get enough GOP support and eventually pass.
Senate moves to debate on infrastructure as bill takes shape
Jessica Wehrman and Joseph Morton
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., meanwhile sent out a flurry of tweets late Thursday claiming the bill’s pay-fors “are either completely phony or don’t quite cut the mustard.”
As an example, he cited the $205 billion that bipartisan negotiators decided to use from unused COVID-19 relief funds. “Reshuffling money we borrowed in the first place doesn’t count as a pay-for,” he wrote.
He also criticized the $49 billion in savings the group estimated they would get from delaying a Trump-era rule limiting drug manufacturer rebates to pharmacy benefit managers. “Raising drug prices on seniors is not a pay-for,” he tweeted. “It’s wrong.”
Indiana senators split on infrastructure bill
The Herald Republican
Braun sided with the majority of Senate Republicans in voting against the bill.
"Congress can’t keep spending trillions of dollars we don’t have. The infrastructure package announced today continues the trend in Congress of insane deficit spending. Let’s not forget, this is just the first step in the Democrats’ plan to pass their $5.5 trillion tax and spend liberal wish list," Braun said in a joint statement with other Republican Senators. "Our nation is facing a nearly $30 TRILLION federal debt crisis. There are real infrastructure needs across the country. But, with growing inflation and many families struggling to financially recover from the events of the last year, it is not wise to throw fuel on the fire that is the raging inflation crisis and labor shortage we are seeing across America."
Sen. Mike Braun to Newsmax: Infrastructure Bills ‘Linkage’ Is an Issue
“There's so many variables floating around on this entire discussion, and when it was predicated upfront that $3.5 trillion in soft infrastructure that has nothing to do with infrastructure as we normally define it, was going to go through anyway,” Braun said on “Spicer & Co.” Tuesday, “Pelosi said both bills have to come from the Senate at the same time, that linkage is an issue for many of us.”
Braun said he wants guarantees that the bill the Republicans agreed to will not touch the 2017 tax cuts from the administration of former President Donald Trump, and that the Democrats won’t simply put items removed from the first bill back into the reconciliation bill that can pass through the House and Senate without GOP support.