Republican South Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew explained his vote for the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” spending package with this post on his Facebook Page last Saturday afternoon at 4:46 PM:
My phone has not stopped ringing today. Some Republicans are unhappy with the vote that United States Congressman Jeff Van Drew, R-2 cast last night.
I want to take this opportunity to review the calculus that goes into making difficult decisions like this one.
In the end, 13 Republicans voted for the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill and 6 Democrats voted against it. The final vote late last night was 228 to 206.
Congressman Van Drew is one of the 13 Republicans who voted for it; so is Congressman Chris Smith, R-4. Smith is serving his 21st term in The United States Congress.
Both are reliably conservative. Both are also currently getting a lot of flak for casting this vote and creating an environment that appears to help President Joe Biden, Senate and House Democrats; who get to say that they have achieved a bi-partisan legislative success.
I take this opportunity to rise in support of Van Drew. As mad as some conservatives are right now, the vote is defendable and here’s why.
We have needed comprehensive infrastructure reinvestment for decades. Currently, there are 502 bridges in New Jersey rated as deficient.
Under the infrastructure legislation that Van Drew voted for, New Jersey will receive $6.9 billion for highways, $1.1 billion for bridges and $4.2 billion for transit over the next five years.
In a Representative Republic, these are the kinds of difficult decisions that Congressmen have to weigh and measure very carefully.
I’ve interviewed Van Drew on the topic of infrastructure many times over the years. He has consistently maintained that he was inclined to support a comprehensive infrastructure spending measure when it was presented.
It’s also important to note that Van Drew is adamantly opposed to the $ 1.75 to 3.5 trillion plus in additional Democrat spending that has been proposed over the past 10 months.
The United States Senate passed the same $ 1 trillion infrastructure legislation back in August. The bill is now headed to President Biden, who will sign it into law.
The spending measure has passed just three days after Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory for Governor of Virginia; Governor Phil Murphy’s narrow win over Jack Ciatterelli, Senator Vince Polistina’s, R-2 rout of Vince Mazzeo and Steve Sweeney’s, D-3 shocking defeat at the hands of a political novice, Edward Durr.
In addition to the previous components mentioned, the legislation includes a minimum of $12.3 billion for New Jersey’s roads, bridges and transit, as well as billions of dollars more that can be used to build the Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson River.
So, the next time you decide to be mad at Van Drew, these are the reasons why he voted with mostly Democrats to pass this infrastructure legislation.
I agree with Van Drew’s vote. The vote that Van Drew cast is defendable and I do so here.
Today, Nicole Malliotakis, another of the 13 House Republicans who voted for the $1.2 trillion “Infrastructure” bill posted this statement on her website. Malliotakis represents the district that includes Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn, New York. Click Here For Link To Her Original Post.
Last Tuesday, Americans from one side of the country to the other, elected Republicans to state and local office, sending Joe Biden and the Democrats a message that we are not, and will never be, a socialist nation. Because this message was so clear, even Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress could not ignore it.
Biden and Pelosi abandoned their scheme to tie a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure, that was first proposed by President Trump five years ago, to their $3.5 trillion socialist reconciliation plan. As a result, New York City and the rest of our country will benefit from a desperately needed investment in our roads, bridges, ports, sewers, mass transit and coastal resiliency projects—including funding for Staten Island’s East Shore Sea Wall and the Brooklyn shoreline.
Biden and his socialist supporters on Capitol Hill, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, have lost the political capital and leverage they need to raise taxes, have the IRS invade our privacy, expand the welfare state, provide taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants, and usher in the Green New Deal using the reconciliation process. That’s why AOC and her Socialist Squad voted against the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
While our country will be better off for both passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill and thwarting the socialist wish list, a lack of information and fake news has clouded the discussion. First, I voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and that legislation only. I voted against a measure that would have advanced the socialists’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan and I will fight like hell to prevent that from ever becoming law.
Equally frustrating is the misinformation surrounding the infrastructure bill I supported. Every single dollar in that legislation funds infrastructure improvements, with half a trillion over five years dedicated to repairing our nation’s deteriorating hard infrastructure and the balance to other infrastructure investments like broadband and public transit.
Just like President Trump’s plan that I supported and pledged to pass when I was running for Congress, this will provide a minimum of $100 billion over five years that will benefit New Yorkers. From funding that could be used for expanded fast ferry service for Staten Island, upgrading NYC’s subway system’s pre-WWII signals and making improvements to the Staten Island Expressway to alleviate traffic congestion.
With continuing delays in the construction of the East Shore Seawall, the infrastructure bill will provide the Army Corps of Engineers with the resources needed to complete this project once and for all. It will also modernize our sewer system to deal with the next Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Ida. As a State Assemblywoman representing Staten Island during Sandy and our recovery, this has been a top priority for both me and those I’ve been privileged to serve for nearly a decade.
From President Dwight Eisenhower to President Donald Trump, investing in America’s infrastructure has long been a fundamental priority of the Republican Party. In fact, Eisenhower’s Federal-Aid Highway Act and the Interstate Highway System it created reshaped our country and enabled the United States to win the Cold War.
Three decades later, President Reagan renewed that commitment by reminding us that “the bridges and highways we fail to repair today will have to be rebuilt tomorrow at many times the cost.” And President Trump proposed spending $1 trillion to make America’s infrastructure “second to none” so we could remain the world’s largest economy. As your voice in the House of Representatives, I will never allow the United States to fall behind China.
From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to blue-collar union employees on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn, Americans support investing in our critical infrastructure to strengthen our economy, create good-paying new jobs and keep our homes and families safe.
I am proud to have fulfilled my campaign promise to pass a comprehensive infrastructure investment that benefits my constituents in New York City and struck a major blow against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and the socialists in Congress who have maneuvered for months to tie together the passage of the infrastructure bill and their $3.5 trillion socialist wish-list.
As a freshman member of Congress, I have spent the last 10 months fighting for my constituents in Washington, D.C. While the bipartisan infrastructure bill has been five years in the making, it took one extraordinary election day and the unmistakable message it sent to those in power to get it done.
This was a victory for the American people. Now, I look forward to working with my city and state colleagues, our new borough president, and local business and civic groups to collectively push for the projects we desperately need.
Finally, did the below confusing and sarcastic statement posted by Former President Trump on day of the vote signal to Jeff Van Drew and the 12 other Republican House members who voted for the $1.2 Trillion “Infrastructure” Bill that Trump was OK with it?
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