Sen. Whitehouse: Will ‘Very Likely Not’ Read All 2,702 Pages of Infrastructure Bill

By Ashlianna Kreiner | August 4, 2021 | 12:04pm EDT
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) – When asked whether he will read the 2,702-page infrastructure spending bill now under consideration in the Senate, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said, “Very likely not.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, asked the senator, “Will you read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before you vote on it?”

Sen. Whitehouse responded: “Very likely not, because you—we have a lot of capable staff people who summarize things for us.”

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 Tuesday, the White House amended the title to read, “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. It further says that the bill will safeguard “communities of color from climate crises and extreme weather risks.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In an Aug. 3 statement about funding the infrastructure bill, 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, “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."

MRC Store