Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday that the 13 House Republicans who helped the Democrats pass their $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill just “put themselves on a path to early retirement.”
Speaking on Cavuto Live, the Tennessee Republican said the “bipartisan” measure wouldn’t have passed the lower chamber if it weren’t for the support of more than a dozen members of the GOP.
“It was very surprising to me to see 13 Republicans basically bail Nancy Pelosi out,” Hagerty remarked, according to Fox News. “She did not have the votes within her own party to do this.”
The senator added: “We had 13 Republicans that decided to step up and help her in this way, and what they did is put themselves on a path to early retirement.”
Indeed, the House speaker was finally able to push the infrastructure deal through the House on Friday. The measure passed by a vote of 228 to 206, and since it already passed through the U.S. Senate, it is now headed to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Infighting between moderate and progressive Democrats is largely what held the bill up for so long. Progressives wanted some kind of assurance that if they voted for the “bipartisan” bill, then moderates would back Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act.
A deal to this effect was reached this week. In return for supporting Biden’s pricey agenda, moderates only asked for a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score to better assess the financial implications of the measure.
Significantly, some House progressives, concerned that the moderates were not being sincere, did not vote for the infrastructure bill, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), as Fox Business reported.
Accordingly, as Hagerty suggested, Pelosi did not actually have the votes to pass it.
That’s where the 13 House Republicans came in to bail her out. This list, according to Breitbart, includes Reps. John Katko (NY), Don Bacon (NE), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Fred Upton (MI), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Don Young (AK), Tom Reed (NY), Chris Smith (NJ), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), and David McKinley (WV).
“The American public will not want this,” Hagerty told Fox News of the excessive spending attached to the Democrat bill.
“I’m thinking the consequences are going to be pretty severe for those who have enabled this — and, particularly, these 13 [Republican] House members,” he added, “after looking at what happened in Virginia just earlier this week — it really does puzzle me.”