Rep. Michael McCaul signaled he supports an infrastructure bill so long as Democrats don’t “muck it up” by expanding health care and education.
Granted, the context of McCaul’s remarks was the infrastructure bill and what he feels is appropriate to include in it. But he did not say anything supportive of expanding health care or education, like, e.g. “those are worthy policy objectives to be worked on but they don’t belong in an infrastructure bill.”
McCaul, who is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, repeatedly looked down during this appearance, especially when attacking President Joe Biden on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, as if needing to keep checking his notes . (Hat tip to reader Andrew S. who noticed this.)
Perhaps McCaul wanted to make sure to get in his suggestion that Americans left in Afghanistan after the troop withdrawal will suffer a fate worse than the Alamo:
MCCAUL: I look at the embassy itself. We're going to have 600 people, DOD and other personnel. You know, I'm from Texas. The Alamo, and we had 250 Texans, 5,000 Mexicans, didn't end up so well there. I think the odds are worse in Afghanistan.
Here was the relevant exchange about infrastructure. It happened at about the 10:00 mark:
MIKE EMANUEL, ANCHOR: Does Speaker Pelosi's insistence on pairing the bipartisan infrastructure agreement with the broader multitrillion dollar package damage the chances of getting Republicans to vote yes on infrastructure? And if Republicans ultimately vote against infrastructure, what's the political risk of rejecting a bunch of pretty popular investments?
MCCAUL: Well, I think infrastructure is popular, and I think it is
bipartisan. And I think, you know -- I know the Senate, working with the president, is trying to work out a bipartisan agreement. That's our best chance for success here. I think with the House, what Pelosi put forward was a totally partisan measure. You know, one out of every $2 went to the Green New Deal, totally unacceptable to Republicans.
You know, if you're really serious about this, let’s look at traditional
infrastructure, and that is roads, bridges, rural broadband, which is so important to the country right now and not muck it up with things that have nothing to do with infrastructure.
I worry that they're going to expand health care and education, have nothing to do with infrastructure, and then Bernie Sanders will use a reconciliation process to basically open up to a massive tax increase. And this is the Trojan horse syndrome that I think we're most worried about.
You can watch it below, from the July 4, 2021 Fox News Sunday.
As Pete Buttigieg (sp?) said (paraphrasing) “railways were not included in that word until language caught up with reality”. Already in the ’50s and ’60s, the word infrastructure was widely understood to include such “soft” stuff as education and training/retraining. By then, prospective investors were interested in stuff like public lighting, sewers and effluent recycling, etc.
Republicans would probably have rejected the wheel back in the day.