The Senate today passed a complicated, controversial $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. CEI policy experts criticized the mammoth bill as a plan that will do more to hamstring innovation and impose new government spending than to improve actual infrastructure.
Iain Murray, CEI Senior Fellow:
“This bill demonstrates what is wrong with Congress: a huge bill, jammed with new spending, drafted behind closed doors and then rammed through to suit the majority leader’s whims. Legislators were not able to scrutinize the bill properly and then, when they did identify problems like the ill thought-out provisions relating to cryptocurrency, were unable to amend the bill. Americans deserve better from their Congressional leadership, who should be ashamed of this bill.
“A silver lining is that many thousands of people working in the cryptocurrency space had their eyes opened to how dysfunctional Congress is, thanks to the fiasco of the crypto provisions in the bill and how difficult it was to amend them. I hope they will form a new constituency demanding reform of Congress and proper, appropriate scrutiny of bills brought to the floor.”
Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy & Environment:
“Most of the Senate’s 1.2 trillion dollar so-called infrastructure package has little to do with infrastructure, such as highways and bridges. Instead, it’s a colossal grab bag of wasteful spending. The climate and energy provisions are mostly payoffs to politically-favored special interests that will raise energy prices for consumers.”
Wayne Crews, CEI Senior Fellow:
“In embracing a gigantic spending bill that will leave little of the economy and daily life untouched, Republicans will have been responsible for precluding the expansions of competitive enterprise that are actually needed to give infrastructure technologies and innovations — from charging stations and 5G cells to smart cities — the sustainable foundation for unfettered growth.
“There have been endless Senate floor speeches about the alleged benefits of the vast sums to be handed out, but it is the public at large who suffers from the central planning mindset emblematic in the bill.” > View the full analysis on Forbes.com
John Berlau, CEI Senior Fellow:
“Because the Senate failed to adopt the bipartisan Wyden-Lummis-Toomey amendment even after it was watered down, the infrastructure package’s cryptocurrency tax reporting provisions could destroy a vital part of America’s digital infrastructure.
“When the bill goes to the House, lawmakers must clarify that cryptocurrency developers and creators such as miners, who for security purposes do not have access to identifying information of individual crypto holders, should not be treated as ‘brokers’ with tax reporting obligations for those whose cryptocurrency accounts they service.” > View the full analysis on Forbes.com
Ben Lieberman, CEI Senior Fellow:
“We’ll be lucky if pennies on the dollar go to worthwhile infrastructure projects. The rest of this trillion dollar plus monstrosity will hurt consumers, jobs, and the economy overall.”