Joel B. Pollak
Several Democrats in the left-wing “Squad” in the U.S. House of Representatives attacked the Senate’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal on Wednesday evening by drawing attention to the racial makeup of the negotiators, who are white.
House Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have said that they will not support the bipartisan Senate deal unless the Senate also passes a $3.5 trillion bill on other “infrastructure” through the reconciliation process. The larger bill includes “green” policies, along with left-wing social spending priorities that Republicans rejected in negotiations.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus rejected the bipartisan deal, calling it “small and narrow” in a statement Wednesday:
But that was not enough for some members of the “Squad,” who blamed the shape of the deal on the race of the Senators.
First-term Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) likened the bipartisan group of Senators to the “audience at a Kid Rock concert”:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the Squad’s most well-known and notorious member, was somewhat more subtle:
Fellow Squad member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) avoided racial remarks in his criticism, sticking to the substance:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) helped the infrastructure deal clear the first procedural hurdle earlier on Wednesday when she declared that she would not vote for the $3.5 trillion proposal, meaning that it could not muster a majority in a 50-50 Senate.
In 2019, House Republicans voted to strip then-Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of all his committee assignments over remarks to the New York Times that appeared to question why the racial terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive.