Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto pressed Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn on the non-infrastructure-related provisions in the Democratic-proposed infrastructure bill during a Thursday evening interview on “Your World.”
Although President Joe Biden’s $2.5 trillion “American Jobs Plan” does include $600 billion in transportation infrastructure, it also contains several unrelated measures desired by Democrats, including unemployment relief, paid family leave, enhanced child care provisions, and more.
After predicting that the House would pass the bill, Clyburn went on to defend its provisions as infrastructure-related.
“I wish people would take a look at infrastructure in a broad sense,” he said.
“This is as much infrastructure as anything else,” Clyburn said, referring to broadband internet. “We’ve got schools that need to be built. That’s infrastructure. Affordable housing that needs to be built. That’s infrastructure. We have got to get our kids online learning … All of that requires broadband.”
After acknowledging the South Carolina lawmaker’s point about broadband, Cavuto pressed him on other measures.
“When I hear about spending better than $400 billion on the care for the elderly and the disabled, however meritorious that might be, also looking at the tuition-free community college, also looking down the road at universal pre-k, what the heck does this have to do with any of that?” asked the Fox News anchor.
“It has to do with educating our children. It has to do with taking care of the elderly,” Clyburn responded. “I don’t understand. We aren’t Eskimos.”
“Is that infrastructure?” Cavuto pressed. “That’s what I’m saying, and does it blur the lines so that you’re losing support you might otherwise get if you kept it just focused on that?”
“No,” Clyburn admitted. “This is the American jobs plan. The American jobs plan. This is all about jobs. It’s not just about building buildings.” (RELATED: McConnell Says Biden Called Him To Talk About $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan)
Clyburn went on to claim that the bill would “do for the highway system what [President Dwight] Eisenhower did.”