GOP senator says bipartisan infrastructure group wants to double Biden's spending on roads and bridges

Bill CassidyDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesSen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy says he’s working on an “alternative” to Biden’s multitrillion-dollar jobs plan.
  • “The money in our bill … would double the amount of money going for roads and bridges” compared to Biden, he said.
  • Cassidy was part of a key GOP working group that made a stimulus counteroffer to Biden this year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, indicated another major infrastructure plan was being drafted by lawmakers searching for another option besides President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion proposal.

“I’ll be meeting with governors and bipartisan group of senators and [representatives] on a bill which will be an alternative to the President’s proposal,” Cassidy told Louisiana reporters on Tuesday.

He continued: “As I look at it, the money in our bill – at least what I’m proposing – would double the amount of money going for roads and bridges compared to what the president is putting forward.”

Biden’s plan sets aside $115 billion to upgrade roads and bridges. That suggests a potential alternative plan from Cassidy could allocate at least $230 billion.

Cassidy added his state was hit with a low grade in the White House’s ‘infrastructure report card’ issued on Monday. “In Louisiana if we’re a ‘D,’ we need a lot more infrastructure and a lot less of that something else,” he said.

The Louisiana senator formed part of a group of 10 Republican senators who met with Biden earlier this year and pitched a $618 billion coronavirus relief counterproposal. They recently panned Biden for calling that package inadequate to address the crisis. Democrats ultimately approved a $1.9 trillion rescue plan without Republican votes.

It was not immediately clear whether Cassidy was drafting a plan in tandem with any of those GOP lawmakers. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democrats favor a large package that ramps up spending on in-home care for the elderly and affordable housing. The GOP argues these measures go beyond traditional infrastructure, besides having a size and scope that are too large. They are also critical of hiking corporate taxes.

“There is bipartisan appetite for smart infrastructure bills that are built the right way,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday. “There isn’t much appetite for using the word “infrastructure” to justify a colossal, multitrillion-dollar slush fund for unrelated bad ideas.”

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