Senator Concerned Over Deficit Spending, Democrats Using Bill as Gateway to a New $4 Trillion Tax-and-Spend Extravaganza

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted against Senate passage of a more than $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, citing too few assurances that the massive measure is paid for and will not contribute to the nation’s staggering debt.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR.3684), negotiated by a small bipartisan group of Senators, includes more than $550 billion in new federal spending.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would add $256 billion to projected deficits.

“Many provisions in this sprawling legislation have merit and would help Mississippi, but voting for it is a bridge too far to cross.  We need more infrastructure investment, but I am unconvinced this rushed massive, one-shot bill is the best or most fiscally-responsible way to fix roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems, and the electrical grid,” Hyde-Smith said.  “This bill is not paid for, increases the deficit, and includes many unfunded intergovernmental and private-sector mandates.”

Hyde-Smith also warned, “Let’s not forget that President Biden and congressional Democrats will use the thin veneer of bipartisan support for infrastructure as a gateway to a new scheme to spend another $4 trillion on a tax-and-spend extravaganza of socialist programs—all without a single Republican vote.”

During debate on the 2,700-page bill, hundreds of amendments where offered during consideration of HR.3684.  In the end, Democrats shutdown debate on amendments.  The following are among the amendments introduced by or cosponsored by Hyde-Smith:

  • S.Amdt.2416 – Hyde-Smith amendment aligning with the Emergency Water Infrastructure Improvements Act, her bill to authorize a multipronged federal approach to upgrade City of Jackson water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • S.Amdt.2536 – Hyde-Smith amendment to increase to 50 percent from 37.5 percent the share of revenues from outer Continental Shelf leases in the Gulf of Mexico to energy-producing Gulf Coast States, and other key GOMESA provisions.  (Related bill: Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act, S.2130).
  • S.Amdt.2605 – Hyde-Smith amendment to provide funding for rural water and wastewater disposal programs through the USDA Rural Utilities Service.
  • S.Amdt.2606 – Hyde-Smith amendment to redirect from the EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to carry out unfunded Section 219 water and wastewater projects in 32 states, as authorized under Section 5158 of Water Resources Development Act of 2007.
  • S.Amdt.2607 – Hyde-Smith amendment to develop a Federal Land Data and Analysis Consortium for Orphaned and Abandoned Wells.
  • S.Amdt.2283 – Hyde-Smith cosponsored Daines amendment requiring offshore and onshore oil and gas and wind lease sales.
  • S.Amdt.2535 – Hyde-Smith cosponsored Shelby amendment increasing funding for defense infrastructure, including shipyards, laboratories, military construction, and other unmet needs.
  • S.Amdt.2614 – Hyde-Smith cosponsored Menendez amendment to increase National Flood Insurance Program participation among homeowners and small businesses by capping the premium rate increases to 9 percent, address unsustainable debt service costs, and implement means-tested vouchers to ensure affordability for low-and middle-income policyholders.

Hyde-Smith also pointed out that the bill includes non-infrastructure provisions that could have far-reaching implications, including digital nondiscrimination language that pulls from the controversial Equality Act to redefine sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among other things. 

“These provisions would effectively sanction infringements on religious liberties and freedom of expression.  In this ‘infrastructure’ bill, they are a precursor to Biden and Democrats’ radical socialist agenda wrapped up in a $4 trillion tax and spending spree,” Hyde-Smith said.