When one of the most conservative members of congress (Jim Baird) and one of the most liberal (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) both vote “no” on a bi-partisan infrastructure bill, the country is in serious trouble. But we already knew that.
How can Baird, our representative, vote against a bill that would benefit all of us—fixing our roads and bridges, upgrading our obsolete power grids, expanding rural internet access (a critical problem we saw affecting Montgomery County during the pandemic)? The answer is that Baird is an ideologue, more interested in the purity of his small government, no tax/no spend beliefs than in solving the real problems that face us.
Ocasio-Cortez is also an ideologue, and while I am much closer to her beliefs than I am to Baird’s, I am disappointed that she also turned her back on her constituents’ needs. Yes, the original proposal was drastically reduced, removing a number of key elements that I, like she, thought should be included (like expanded funding for caregivers and for workforce development).
But as President Biden has said repeatedly, real and effective governing depends upon compromise and cooperation. We see virtually none of that in government today, at any level. We need to elect people who understand this reality, and who will work to improve our lives.
The bill will now go to the Senate. Will our representatives in that body (Young and Braun) vote for this essential bill? I strongly doubt it, but I ask my Montgomery County neighbors to contact them and urge them to do what is right.
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