Money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is making its way to the states, with two predictable outcomes: important projects like flood mitigation and improving water quality are getting funded, and Republicans are claiming credit for funding from a bill they not only voted against but vehemently opposed.
It’s kind of like if I was hanging out with friends and they said “Let’s get pizza” and I objected strongly, and then when the pizza arrived, I not only chowed down, but opened the door to a new arrival at the party by saying “Hey, we got pizza! Want some?”
Rep. Ronny Jackson, the Texas member of Congress known as “candy man” during his time as White House doctor, bragged this week about being “instrumental in getting” $1.6 million for the Red River Chloride Control Project. But of course he voted against the law that provided that funding. At the time, he tweeted, “I WILL NOT be voting for Pelosi’s bloated ‘infrastructure’ bill, which spits in the face of the Patriotic values my constituents expect out of their representative in Washington. I love the Panhandle and I can’t in good conscience support such a TERRIBLE bill.”
He sure seems fine with its effect on his district, though. Even wants to be sure people know that he got the money he voted against.
Jackson is not alone, of course. He joins Rep. Gary Palmer, of Alabama, who voted against the law and then responded to funding flowing to his district by claiming, “This is the opportunity we have been working for as a region and a state.” And Rep. Ashley Hinson, of Iowa, who bragged, "We secured $829 million in federal funding,” calling it “game-changing,” after having called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act “the biggest leap toward socialism this nation has ever seen.” And Rep. Tony Gonzales, of Texas, who sounded really happy about an ecosystem restoration project, saying, “For many folks in the area, this project revives the area's storied past and deep roots,” in a shift from his claim that the law as a whole would “only make matters worse and hold our country back.” And Rep. Steve Scalise, the number two House Republican, and Rep. Clay Higgins.
Republicans say they objected to other things in the infrastructure law, which is why they voted against it, but they always wanted the specific pieces of funding they’re now bragging about. Which may be true—but the fact is that when it came down to it, when they had the chance to vote yes or no on the law providing the money, they voted no.
As Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of this pattern, “Vote no, take the dough—that's what the Republicans do.”