By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A host of ABC’s “This Week” interrupted an interview with U.S. Sen. John Barrasso over the weekend to challenge his claims about President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill.
Barrasso appeared on the news program to discuss the proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill and congressional Republicans’ $548 billion counteroffer and repeated claims about the bill made recent weeks, including the statement that only 6% of Biden’s bill goes to roads and bridges and that there was more money in the bill for electric cars than “traditional” infrastructure.
Host Martha Raddatz quickly said this was an incorrect claim.
“The 6% for roads and bridges figures you and other GOP leaders have cited has been fact-checked multiple times,” she told Barrasso. “The total amount for what you have called traditional infrastructure, roads, bridges, waterways, public transit is more than 25% of the Biden plan. So, do you want more?”
Barrasso did not object to the fact check, instead saying he has been working with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, on traditional infrastructure projects in this new bill.
“So I actually believe there’s a deal to be had if we leave things out like the Green New Deal, and recyclable cafeteria trays and climate justice, because $500 billion to $600 billion of infrastructure is a massive amount of infrastructure,” Barrasso said.
He said if the administration would go back and look at his infrastructure bill which passed unanimously when he chaired the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, the issue would be solved.
“I voted for it, Bernie Sanders voted for it. It focuses on building faster, better, cheaper, smarter, it focuses on the things that people think of as core infrastructure that the president talks about — his hard infrastructure,” Barrasso said.
The total proposed $2 trillion package focuses on job creation, traditional infrastructure spending and investment in certain areas such as funding for care workers and for childcare to be offered at workplaces.
When Raddatz tried to change the topic to President Trump’s continuous attacks on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Wyoming colleague Rep. Liz Cheney and if that hurt the Republican Party, Barrasso punted stating that we needed to “get beyond all of that.”
“We need to focus on the 2022 elections, so that we can win back the house win back the Senate, get united on the things on which we agree, and then successfully stop the far extreme efforts of this Biden administration and those that are taking the country towards socialism,” he said.
Raddatz didn’t act surprised that Barrasso reeled off GOP talking points instead of answering the question as she chuckled when thanking him for appearing on the program.
“Okay, that question not exactly answered, but we appreciate you coming on this morning, senator,” she said.