Several members of the Minnesota congressional delegation reacted to the House’s passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Friday night.
H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, initially passed the House on July 1. However, the bill was sent back for another vote after the Senate passed an amended version on Aug. 10 by a 69-30 vote. Nineteen Republican senators joined every Senate Democrat in approving the new version.
Then in the House Friday night, the GOP broke ranks yet again. Thirteen House Republicans joined 215 Democrats in passing H.R. 3684, though none of those Republicans belonged to the Minnesota delegation.
Reps. Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn voiced their disapproval of the infrastructure bill in separate statements following the vote.
“Regrettably, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leaders made it abundantly clear that the $1.2 trillion Senate infrastructure bill is inextricably linked to their bloated multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spend package. I will not be complicit in paving a destructive and irreversible path towards socialism,” said Stauber.
“This massive spending package is not about real infrastructure, and instead will make businesses less competitive, outsource jobs, saddle American families and future generations with more debt and higher taxes, send inflation soaring to greater heights, and completely devastate our economy.”
In a Saturday morning press release, Hagedorn accused the Democrats of working to “fundamentally change and reorder the fabric” of the United States.
“What is at our gates now is a Trojan Horse for the Democrats to force their socialist agenda on the American people. We must vehemently reject these harmful ideas and policies and return to commonsense and the time-tested principles: limited government, free enterprise capitalism, and fiscal responsibility,” he said.
Democratic members of the Minnesota delegation, on the other hand, praised the passage of H.R. 3684 as a crucial step toward passing the entirety of their party’s so-called “Build Back Better Agenda.”
“Today House Democrats also took a key step to prepare for a vote on the final element of the Build Back Better agenda, the Build Back Better Act, which invests in American families and the human infrastructure they rely on,” wrote Rep. Betty McCollum in a statement.
“Our entire nation will benefit from making child care, health care, housing, and education more accessible and affordable. It also makes historic investments to combat the climate crisis for our state, our nation, and our planet.”
Not every Minnesota Democrat helped pass the bill, however. Ilhan Omar was one of six Democrats who voted “nay.” The others included “Squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Cori Bush. Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York also voted against the bill.
Omar and the “Squad” had long vowed not to support H.R. 3684 unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also allowed a vote on the Build Back Better Act.
“Passing the infrastructure bill without passing the Build Back Better Act first risks leaving behind childcare, paid leave, health care, climate action, housing, education, and a roadmap to citizenship,” Omar said in a Friday night statement.
“My community cannot wait any longer for these much-needed investments that will be delivered through the Build Back Better Act. I cannot in good conscience support the infrastructure bill without voting on the president’s transformative agenda first.”
H.R. 3684 now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden, where it is expected to be signed into law.