Sen. Bill Cassidy, who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, said Sunday he won’t vote for the $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” legislation as it’s a “bad, bad bill” that will fuel inflation and comes at too much cost.
“As it’s going to be implemented, there are things that don’t sunset, and it’s going to cost $4.65 trillion on top of what the federal government is going to pay,” the Louisiana Republican said on ABC News’s “This Week,” quoting an analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
“One-third of the expenditures are tax cuts for billionaires,” he added. “There’s corporate welfare. It’s going to raise the price of gasoline by about 20 cents a gallon. It has federal dictates as to how your child’s preschool is handled, the curriculum…it’s a bad, bad, bad bill.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who was also on the program, said she is sure the vote will be held by Christmas. Members of the House passed the $1.7 trillion act along party lines on Nov. 19. It includes billions in spending for climate initiatives, universal pre-K, affordable housing, and Medicare expansion.
The measure may have difficulty passing in the Senate, as Democrat Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia are pushing back against the bill’s price tag.
Cassidy also spoke out against the tax cuts “to billionaires” that the Build Back Better bill allows, and the increase to the debt limit that Democrats want.
“[With] the corporate welfare in this bill, if you earn $500,000 a year and buy an $80,000 electric vehicle, you can get a $12,000 credit,” said Cassidy. “A middle-class person who can’t afford a used car is paying for a tax credit for someone who makes $500,000 a year. Republicans wouldn’t agree to that. Now we’re asked to increase the debt limit to pay for it.”
Meanwhile, Cassidy, who is also a physician, said Sunday he agrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health experts who are calling for COVID-19 vaccination efforts to continue, considering the threat of the new omicron variant.
“Get vaccinated,” he said. “Get your booster shot. Folks ask me about vaccinating children. Yes, they are less likely to have significant illness, but they bring it home to grandma, grandpa, and the parents. As a physician, I would say follow the recommendations.”
There is still a lot of vaccine resistance in Cassidy’s state, but it’s now among the states with the lower incidents of infection.
“One beef that I’ve had it’s clear that previous infection gives immunity,” said Cassidy. “Dr. Fauci said that in a committee hearing. There’s been no analysis as to the longevity of that or anything else that folks want to know. I’ve been previously infected. Am I immune? The CDC is not interested in looking at that. I think the American people know they’re getting gamed a little bit. The CDC should do that work too.”