It should be no surprise at all that an incredibly polarizing infrastructure bill, which carries a massive price tag of $6T, would be able to pass a 50-50, extremely partisan Senate. In addition, inflation is skyrocketing, and the vast majority of Americans have blamed Biden for this uptick.
Moreover, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated that he was not in favor of a bill that was purely favorable to Democrats, or a Democrats-only bill. Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Manchin are generally perceived as the most opposed to the progressive left wing of the party, especially since they have refused to consider various demands, such as destroying the filibuster.
However, reports have recently surfaced that suggest an additional senator may interfere with the Democrats’ planned spending bonanza: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who explicitly stated his views towards the infrastructure bill, particularly with regards to regressive taxation.
Sanders indicated that he would offer no support to the infrastructure bill if it were to include any measures such as regressive taxation. Examples of regressive taxation include increasing the fees for electric vehicles, or increasing taxes on gasoline.
In addition, Sanders also acknowledged on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he fully supported “roads and bridges,” as these elements of infrastructure are strongly needed by the nation. At the same time, Sanders also stated that he would not be in support of any form of regressive taxation, which can include “the privatization of infrastructure,” “a fee on electric vehicles,” or a “gas tax.” Sanders also added that he does not have the relevant details at that point in time.
In the meantime, twenty-one senators, eleven of which are Republicans, have described a bipartisan proposal that will cost approximately $973B in the next five years, or $1.2T over the next eight years. In addition, this plan would include $579B in new spending, as well as repurpose the various COVID funds that have not yet been spent. Additionally, the plan would also include a surcharge applicable to electric vehicles, as well as increase the usage of local and state funds for providing COVID relief.
While admitting the proposal was “mostly good,” Sanders also argued that he disliked the measures regarding increased gasoline taxes and electric vehicle fees.
It would be ironic if Schumer is unable to move the bill forward due to gasoline taxes and electric vehicle fees, though that just may happen with Sanders.