Biden Administration's Infrastructure Bill Includes 40 Percent of Things Not Traditionally Considered Infrastructure, Says Cong. Frank LucasWed, 21 Apr 2021 11:38:59 CDT
The multi-trillion-dollar jobs and infrastructure legislation proposed by President Biden covers more than what is traditionally considered infrastructure, said Oklahoma’s Third District Congressman Frank Lucas.
Lucas was interviewed Wednesday by Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
I think the Biden administration is trying to use the name of infrastructure to fund their wish list to take care of all their other projects in one mighty $2.25 trillion dollar package, Lucas said.
The “roads and bridges” part has always been included in bipartisan infrastructure bills, but Lucas said only about six percent of the proposal will go to roads and bridges.
Less than five percent will go to broadband, which is very important to rural Oklahoma, Lucas said.
The words “social justice” and “climate justice” crops up frequently in Biden’s proposal which Lucas said would soak up about 40 percent of the proposed legislation.
It is basically a little bit of a highways, roads and bridges bill and a whole lot of everything else on their agenda, Lucas said.
To pay for the bill, the administration wants to raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
We went through a lot of struggles to get it lowered to make us competitive in the global market and keep U.S. companies from going overseas, Lucas said.
The Oklahoma congressman said the administration will attempt to use a budget reconciliation loophole to pass the massive bill.
During a House Ag Committee hearing this week on rural broadband, a representative from Microsoft said it could take $60 to $80 billion to fully implement rural broadband.
Lucas relies on his experience as a member on both the agriculture committee and the science and technology committee to suggest there may be other options to a high-speed Internet based on land lines.
There are three different companies competing to put low orbit satellites up that could give us better options, Lucas said.
Lucas said we can look to the rural electric cooperative model to build a successful broad band infrastructure in rural America.
They have a solid track record of taking care of their members, he said.
Lucas is working on legislation to improve rural health care and connecting via broadband is critically important.
We’re encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to support rural communities in funding this need, Lucas said.
Lucas, who is also a western Oklahoma farmer and rancher, noted the Biden administration is mandating the reduction of certain forms of energy to force us to exclusively go to renewables.
There are times when Mother Nature turns everything loose on us, we need all sources of energy to keep things going, Lucas said, referring to February’s brutal cold chaos.
He added we may be 50 years away from the technology to make this possible.
China, and the rest of the world smiles as they turn up the energy use to sell us things, Lucas said.
Lucas hopes agriculture will be included in working out a solution.
I want to incentivize things so the market will do the right thing for the right reasons, rather than Washington, D.C. forcing us to do something, Lucas said.
On a related note, Lucas is working on legislation to honor the contribution the Chisolm Trail played in developing the country.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more of Ron’s interview with Cong. Lucas.
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