GOP Rep. Gary Palmer Takes Credit For Infrastructure Bill He Voted Against
Earlier this year, as Congress debated President Joe Biden‘s landmark infrastructure legislation, Chairman of the House Budget Committee John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky) predicted that Republicans would vote against the final bill and then take credit for the benefits it provides to their constituents.
GOP lawmakers did precisely that after former President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) into law in 2009 and after Biden inked his signature onto the American Rescue Plan earlier this year – all of which were necessary to stabilize the collapsing American economy.
“What we are all concerned about on our side is that the Republicans are all going to vote against this, and then they’re going to show up at every ribbon cutting, and at every project funded out of this bill, and they’re going to pump up their chests and take credit for all of these great benefits that are coming to their citizens,” Yarmuth said.
Sure enough, after the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law by Biden on Monday, one House Republican proved Yarmuth prophetic.
Cue House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Alabama) – who voted against the bipartisan proposal even though it contained a provision he personally authored and derided it as containing “hundreds of billions of dollars on a Green New Deal wish list and programs under the guise of human infrastructure that simply expand government control of our lives” – issued a statement not long after the president signed it into law in which Palmer boasted about how it will help residents of Alabama.
“The newly passed infrastructure bill, signed into law by President Biden, includes legislation introduced by Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) and Congressman David Trone (MD-06) that will provide critical funding to help complete the Northern Beltline. The provision in the infrastructure bill was inserted from the Finish the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) Act and would provide $1.25 billion for construction of incomplete sections of the ADHS. More specifically, Alabama will receive $369 million over the next five years for construction of the Northern Beltline, Alabama’s only ADHS project that has yet to be completed,” Palmer’s congressional website states.
“Funding the Northern Beltline has consistently been one of my top priorities. Birmingham is currently one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country without a complete beltline around it. Completing the Northern Beltline will benefit the entire region and enhance economic development and employment opportunities,” Palmer said in a statement of his own.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission has noted the completion will have an annual economic impact exceeding $2 billion in 10 years and has the potential to create 14,000 jobs,” Palmer concluded. “This is the opportunity we have been working for as a region and a state. Now is the time for us to take advantage of it and complete the work by finishing the Northern Beltline and building a better future for the Birmingham metro area and central Alabama.”
Again, Palmer voted against it.