The Corner

Politics & Policy

Mitch McConnell, Kill the (Nonexistent) Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 25, 2021. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has indicated that the chamber could vote as soon as tonight to advance a bipartisan infrastructure deal. Among the many problems: The bill doesn’t exist yet.

To be clear, we have been critics of this expensive infrastructure boondoggle from Day One. David Harsanyi detailed that our infrastructure is not, in fact, crumbling and Charlie Cooke explained why there was no reason to spend trillions of dollars on this manufactured crisis. We editorialized on the charade of Republicans negotiating a “bipartisan” bill that Democrats view as in tandem with their massive social welfare bill cramming in a host of liberal priorities. I have written on how Democrats keep making Republicans look like idiots again and again by rolling them in negotiations. I noted the other day that Senator Joe Manchin blew up the rationale for cutting a smaller bill by explaining that passing the smaller bill was a key part of getting the entire massive Democrats-only package passed. This is a package that comes on top of the $6 trillion that was already spent in response to the pandemic and during a time when the White House’s own projections see debt as a share of economy surpassing World War II this year, making it the highest in American history. The larger package, which also hasn’t been released, promises to include a reckless expansion of Medicare even though the existing program is unsustainable.

If it weren’t preposterous enough that Republicans have gone on with this abomination for so long, chief Republican collaborator, Senator Rob Portman, now says that they are ready to vote to advance the bill which nobody has seen, because it hasn’t been written yet. “As of late last night, and really early this morning, we now have an agreement on the major issues,” Portman told reporters, according to Politico. “We are prepared to move forward.”

Any conservative should be enraged by what is happening now. Ten people have sat in a room behind closed doors for months with nothing to show the public and now all 100 senators are supposed to advance their work product despite the fact that they have not, in fact, produced anything tangible? What, exactly, is the rush? This isn’t even a situation in which there is a must-pass bill to keep the government open or to respond to an emergency. Senators are dealing with a totally artificial timeline. It seems that the only principle that any of these senators are operating under is that it’s of major urgency to authorize trillions of dollars in spending as soon as possible.

Enough is enough. In fact, enough was enough months ago. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell should use all his powers and skills to kill this nonexistent bill. Vote it down, walk away, and let Democrats attempt to pass trillions of dollars of spending without a single Republican vote and be prepared to run against them next year.  

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