Sen. Shelby Doubts He’ll be Able to Read All 2,702 Pages of the Infrastructure Bill Before Voting on It

By Ashlianna Kreiner | August 4, 2021 | 4:15pm EDT
Sen. Richard Shelby
(Screenshot)

(CNS News) – When asked whether he will be able to read the 2,702-page infrastructure spending bill now under consideration in the Senate, Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said: “That would be a steep thing to read it all. I’ve read a lot of it and my staff has read segments of it. The answer is probably, ‘No.’”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Shelby: “Will you be able to read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before you vote on it?”

Sen. Shelby said that he and members of his staff have each read different sections of the bill, so he has “a good understanding” of what’s in it:

“That would be a steep thing to read it all. I’ve read a lot of it; my staff has read segments of it. The answer is probably, ‘No,’ and very few people will. Some will. But, we always try and we kind of break it down, you know, into sections.

“I have a good understanding of it though.”

The estimated cost of the infrastructure bill is $1.2 trillion. The title of the legislation is the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” In a fact sheet posted today, the White House amended the title, adding a reference to “Communities of Color”: “Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Advancing Economic and Public Health Opportunities for Communities of Color.” 

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act addresses economic disparities in our economy and the consequences of decades of disinvestment in America’s infrastructure that have fallen most heavily on communities of color,” according to the White House. “Through critical investments, the legislation increases access to good-paying jobs, affordable high-speed internet, reliable public transit, clean drinking water and other resources to ensure communities of color get a fair shot at the American dream.”

“These critical investments are first steps in advancing equity and racial justice throughout our economy,” reads the fact sheet. Additionally, it says, the bill will safeguard “communities of color from climate crises and extreme weather risks.”

“This was nothing more than a bait and switch,” Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) said in an Aug. 3 statement claiming that they had been assured that the infrastructure bill was fully funded:

“We can't spend money we don't have. Period. Just look at what is happening with inflation. We were promised this infrastructure bill was fully paid for, and now we see that it's not. This was nothing more than a bait and switch.

“$205 billion of this bill was to be paid for with repurposed COVID funds. The latest proposal only shows $50 billion in COVID funds being used, as well as a lot of the proposed ‘pay-fors' missing. So we are asking our colleagues: How is this infrastructure spending bill being paid for? We still don't know. We still don't have a score on this legislation from the Congressional Budget Office. Let's not forget, this is just the first step in the Democrats' plan to pass their $5.5 trillion tax-and-spend liberal wish list. We support infrastructure, but it has to be paid for. This proposal isn't it."

The transcript of the interview with Sen. Shelby is presented below:

CNSNews.com: “Will you be able to read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before you vote on it?”

Sen. Shelby: “That would be a steep thing to read it all. I’ve read a lot of it; my staff has read segments of it. The answer is probably, ‘No,’ and very few people will. Some will. But, we always try and we kind of break it down, you know, into sections.

“I have a good understanding of it though.”

CNSNews.com: “All right, thank you.”

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