Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Sen. Todd Young Puts Fear of Trump Over Principle, Votes Against Infrastructure Package

For weeks, Indiana Senator Todd Young has been part of a bipartisan group that finally reached a compromise on the infrastructure bill.  But then when it came time to vote he suddenly changed his mind, issuing this statement to explain his sudden opposition to the measure.
“For the last several months, I’ve been working diligently with my colleagues toward a bipartisan infrastructure bill to provide crucial funding for our crumbling roads and bridges
Senator Todd Young

and to make targeted investments that yield positive long-term results in areas like broadband, ports, and airports.

“As I’ve said many times, while I’m eager for a bill that makes these investments, I’m also committed to doing so in a fiscally responsible way. Having reviewed the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimated fiscal impact of this legislation as currently constructed, and frankly still not being comfortable with a number of the Democratic priorities contained in this version, I will vote ‘no.’ 

 “As many of you know, I have concerns with the way CBO scores legislation and, even in this case, I don’t agree exactly with their scoring analysis. Nonetheless, I’m not yet comfortable with the current pay-fors in this legislation nor am I comfortable with Speaker Pelosi’s continued insistence o tying passage of this bill to the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reckless tax-and-spend budget proposal. Whether it is infrastructure or the Democrats’ reckless budget, we can’t afford to continue to grow the national debt at this pace, particularly as our economy recovers from the pandemic. 

“Once this legislation passes the Senate, it will move next to the House of Representatives, where changes are all but certain. I intend to do what Hoosiers expect me to do, which is to continue working with my colleagues to improve this bill in hopes that the final product will be one I can support, because I sincerely believe we must address our nation’s infrastructure needs.”
Unfortunately, Senator Young's statement lacks candor.  What happened was that former President Trump announced he would not endorse for re-election any Republican Senator who supports the package.  Senator Young is up in 2022.   Young was no doubt fearful that he might face a Trumper challenger in the primary and switched his vote to head off that possibility.  Young undoubtedly knew that there were more than enough Republican votes for the measure and that his vote would not be needed.

What is disappointing though is that Senator Young put fealty to former President Trump ahead of doing what he knows is right.    In the past, Young has shown a degree independence and integrity.  But when push came to shove on the infrastructure bill, Senator Young sold out.  

Nonetheless, I will still hold out some hope for Senator Young.  Fortunately for Young, the other Senator from Indiana, Mike Braun, is positively awful, an unabashed Trumper who holds zero principles.  Young can't help but look good in comparison.

OOP's short takes:
  • While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's sexual misdeeds are certainly deserving of attention and sanction, unfortunately they are crowding out some of the other scandals which merited more attention than they received.  Early in the pandemic, Gov. Cuomo sent Covid-positive patients into nursing homes for 46 days, then covered up the resulting deaths.  Years before that Cuomo had set up the Moreland Commission to root out corruption in New York state politics but then undermined the Commission's operations when the Commission began to focus on ethical problems in his office.  Gov. Cuomo had wanted to use the Commission to go after political enemies, not clean up state government.
  • Gov. Cuomo has been on a power trip for a long time.   It's unfortunate that there needs to be something sexy like a sex scandal before the public will hold a politician accountable for his or her misconduct.
  • Another big company, this time Accenture, has been hit by ransomware.  I've said this before...these big companies are eventually going to beef up their software security systems.  When they do these ransomware criminals are going to move on to softer targets, like individuals and small companies.  
  • I don't get how a Governor Ron DeSantis can issue an edict banning local school districts from requiring masks.  Certainly the Florida legislature could pass such a law, but not sure how a Governor could do something like that via executive order.   Apparently at least two courts share my skepticism as that granted a temporary injunction against enforcement of the DeSantis order.

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