Former President Trump emailed a statement Monday on the ongoing negotiations in Congress – such as they are – over the package of infrastructure projects sought by the Biden administration and congressional Democrats.
Trump minced no words in his criticism of the effort, which at this point involves a 22-person bipartisan “gang,” and a commitment from President Biden to demand that his entire program be adopted as the price of his signature on any bipartisan agreement.
Trump advises Republicans to abandon infrastructure deal with Biden: “Don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!" pic.twitter.com/VfvWZwGqHi
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) July 26, 2021
The total infrastructure package weighs in at about $3.5 trillion according to standard media reporting.
Trump’s advice for Republicans was terse: “Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called ‘bipartisan’ infrastructure bill. Mitch McConnell and his small group of RINOs wants nothing more than to get a deal done at any cost to prove that he can work with the Radical Left Democrats. It is so important to him that he is agreeing to almost anything. Don’t do the infrastructure deal, wait until after we get proper election results in 2022 or otherwise, and regain a strong negotiating stance. Republicans, don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!”
The language of his comments is naturally coming in for the greatest coverage (and mocking, outrage, etc.).
But Trump is right in his actionable advice: don’t do the deal.
It wasn’t even necessary to clothe the advice in negative commentary about the nature of the process – although there’s nothing inaccurate about Trump’s characterization. It’s undiplomatic, but it isn’t a false portrayal.
We’ve already seen the Republicans in the “gang” get sandbagged on live TV, as they were in June when they showed up at the White House to stand with Biden and the Democrats and announce the bipartisan proposal. Immediately after their press conference, Biden held a second one with just the Democrats to assure their constituents that he’d only sign the bipartisan bill if he also got everything else he’s asking for; i.e., all the hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of items the Republicans haven’t agreed to.
So much for the bipartisan spirit. It’s kind of stupid to even continue the negotiations, knowing there’s a buzzsaw idling down the line ready to spin up.
But the larger point can be made separately.
There’s no need for this infrastructure package.
That’s ultimately why Trump is right. Don’t agree to anything, because there’s nothing that needs doing so badly it merits paying the price of $3.5 trillion in job-killing, economy-burdening pork that will serve only to enrich Democrats’ constituents and advance a radical ideological agenda.
Infrastructure initiatives are discretionary. The Democrats want to shoehorn some highly dubious things into the infrastructure package, such as funds to bribe states into weakening voting-system integrity, bribery funds to push pre-K programs on states, and a laundry list of Green New Deal measures. It’s not even clear how much of the total package would be recognizable as “infrastructure” – roads, bridges, dams, water projects – and it isn’t going to get clearer in the next week.
This package of projects isn’t necessary. It isn’t necessary at all, over any timeline, and certainly not necessary before January 2023. Trump is right. Don’t agree to a pig in a poke. America doesn’t need a pig. Take a pass; prevent cloture on infrastructure bills in the Senate; and concentrate on regaining control of Congress in 2022.