President Joe Biden’s plan to gain Republican support for his $2.7 trillion infrastructure plan relies on the stick more than the carrot, loudly advertising funding that would go to the home states of Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell.
Biden’s strategy on the American Jobs Plan lines up with his newly introduced definition of bipartisanship, which asserts that a bill is “bipartisan” if Republican voters can be found to support some aspect of it–even if it receives no Republican support in Congress.
The White House used this strategy to herald its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill as a bipartisan victory despite having no Republican support. Biden’s new emphasis on how Kentuckians and Californians will benefit from his bill’s spending shows his administration plans to use much the same strategy for his new initiative.
“12% of Kentuckians live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds,” the White House wrote in a fact sheet released Monday. “The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed and affordable coverage to every family in America.” (RELATED: Psaki Says White House Targeting ‘White Conservative Communities’ With Vaccine PSAs On ‘The Deadliest Catch,’ NASCAR, and CMT)
“In California, there are 1,536 bridges and over 14,220 miles of highway in poor condition,” another fact sheet reads. “The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations’ transportation infrastructure.”
Kentucky and California are the home states of McConnell and McCarthy respectively. Republicans have their own response to the White House messaging, however. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out to the Daily Caller last week that just 5 percent of the plan’s trillions of dollars in spending actually go to the roads and bridges the White House is touting.
“They pick popular labels and then they try to jam in all of their left-wing priorities under those misleading but popular labels.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 8, 2021
The Senate Republican Conference (SRC) echoed Cruz’ words in a memo to members last week, according to Axios. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s All A Marketing Game’: Cruz Torches Democrats’ Infrastructure Bill Spending)
“Described as both a ‘jobs‘ plan and an ‘infrastructure’ plan, the proposal undermines both,” the SRC memo reads. “‘Biden’s Partisan, Job-Crushing Slush Fund’ spends just 5% of the total $2.7 trillion on roads and bridges.”
Biden’s strategy so far appears to be unsuccessful, as both McConnell and McCarthy have publicly rejected the infrastructure plan, which they argue is a Trojan horse for unrelated Democratic priorities.