As Infrastructure Negotiations Enter Home Stretch, Deal Comes Under Attack From Both Left and RIght

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 16, 2021
The bipartisan infrastructure deal is experiencing some bipartisan pushback as both the left and the right threaten to tank the package for different reasons. 

Republicans are increasingly upset about the provision giving the IRS more power to enforce tax law, which is a key part of how the infrastructure deal is meant to be paid for, according to the Wall Street Journal. The IRS has been subject to repeated budget cuts over the past decade to the point where the GAO warned it can't effectively enforce tax law anymore. But GOP lawmakers say they are fearful that a newly empowered IRS could be weaponized for political gain (others openly object to the very existence of the IRS unto itself). Because of these purported fears, the Journal's sources have told them that Democrats may entirely drop efforts to raise revenue through enhanced enforcement, which would leave the question of how to replace the hundreds of billions this was expected to raise. 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N..), meanwhile, said that progressives can and will tank the entire infrastructure deal unless the party also approve spending on fighting climate change and enacting social programs, according to Bloomberg. As the House can only lose four Democratic votes on the measure, it is likely that the party's left flank is quite capable of carrying out this threat. In response, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she will not being the infrastructure package to the floor unless the Senate passes a separate bill covering these other priorities is also passed. She might also choose to "realign" some of the priorities in the spending package, but Bloomberg noted this risks backlash from moderate Democrats who have been behind the bipartisan package thus far. 

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