The infrastructure bill passed early Saturday morning. Despite its importance, there was nothing about the legislation in yesterday’s local papers. (See previous post.) Today, the Intelligencer continued to ignore the particulars of the bill but did editorially applaud local representative and Ogden favorite, David McKinley, for voting for the bill. In particular, the editorial praises the congressman's rationale for his affirmative vote:
First, the infrastructure bill is entirely separate from the enormous Reconciliation Bill, about which McKinley and most West Virginians have major concerns (that’s the one that includes massive, irresponsible spending on “social infrastructure”); and second, President Donald Trump proposed an even bigger infrastructure bill, which was shot down by Democrats.
And so on the next important Biden bill, the Reconciliation Bill (Build Back Better), the Intelligencer tells us (without any proof) that West Virginians have “major concerns.”* Although that could be true, most of the polls that I found show support for the bill. For example, here’s the Work Money poll published by The Guardian:
But according to the survey, 80% of more than 800 people surveyed in his home state believe he [Manchin] should vote to pass the bill. That includes 77% of conservatives who responded to the survey.
On McKinley’s second point, the Intelligencer simply repeats the congressman’s lie that the Democrats “shot down” Trump’s “even bigger” infrastructure bill. But that’s not true. For the first two years of Trump’s presidency, the Republicans controlled Congress and the presidency. The Democrats were powerless to shoot anything down and Trump and the Republicans could have passed any infrastructure legislation they wanted. They did nothing on infrastructure, however. Yesterday, MSNBC’s Steve Benen explained what happened next:
After the 2018 midterm election cycle, which left the House in Democratic hands, there were still hopes that an infrastructure deal was possible, and Democratic leaders were prepared to make it happen.
But as regular readers may recall, the then-president decided to attach some strings. In May 2019, however, according to Trump's own version of events, the Republican presented Democrats with an offer: The White House would work on infrastructure if Democrats agreed to stop investigating the then-president's many scandals. Democratic leaders, naturally, said that wasn't an option — they added, of course, that Congress can legislate and conduct oversight at the same time — at which point Trump abandoned the process.
In hopes of finding a lie that will become a “truth” through repetition (see "stolen election"), my hunch is that we will see a lot more “the Democrats shot down Trump’s infrastructure plan” from the Republicans and their propaganda outlets like Fox and Ogden.
Update -- Metro News' Hoppy Kercheval and Brad McElhinny discussed the politics of McKinley's decision to support the Democrats' infrastructure bill earlier today
Congressman McKinley will be on Kercheval's show tomorrow morning.
*Among the local Ogden newspapers' functions are serving as a Republican propaganda outlet and promoting their most-favored politicians like David McKinley. I expected that our local papers would be against Build Back Better and so far, they have not disappointed. That may change, however, depending upon what ends up in the final legislation. McKinley and Republicans are important, but as my recent post on sports wagering suggested, nothing trumps Robert Nutting’s bottom line. (More on this later.)