In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Barrasso said only 6% of the Biden offer would be directed to “hard” infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges, and touted a GOP counteroffer of $548 billion.
“We cannot continue with this reckless borrowing and spending, especially with the taxes coming out of a pandemic,” Barrasso said.
“These are for things we don't necessarily need, we can't afford, but they will delight the liberal left of the party,” he said of Biden's proposals for both jobs and families paid for by increasing taxes.
“It seems to me this is a cradle to the grave role of government, whether it's paying for child care for everyone, college pays for this, and it's almost creating an addiction to spending. It's either massive new debt to China as well as massive taxing, probably the largest tax - increase in 50 years. According to Barrasso, Republicans have brought up a counteroffer of $548 billion.
“It is focused on core infrastructure — roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, things people think of when they think of infrastructure,” he said.
“Things that will get our economy firing on all cylinders. The problem is of course, President Biden's proposal, only 6% of the money goes to bridges and things. The rest is for electric cars.”
Barrasso said “the other powerful Joe” — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. — could play a key role.
“Democrats are also getting concerned about the spending, realize they're going to be held accountable in the 2022 election, and some Democrats most privately are saying, this isn't sustainable,” he said.
“I have been working regularly with the other powerful Joe in Washington, Joe Manchin, and we're focusing on core infrastructure,” he said. “President Biden calls it hard infrastructure as opposed to soft infrastructure.
“So I believe there's a deal to be had if we leave things out like the green new deal, and justice. $500 billion to $600 billion is a massive amount, and we ought to start with the core.”
Biden, delivering his first address to Congress on Wednesday, laid out what he called a “blue-collar blueprint to build America” now that the nation is getting the pandemic under control.
“America is on the move again” Biden said. “After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for a takeoff."
Biden spoke to a sparsely populated House chamber, with a select number of lawmakers socially distanced due to COVID-19, on the eve of the 100th day since he was sworn into office.