Taxpayer advocate critical of duplicative spending in $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal

(The Center Square) – A taxpayer advocate critical of a proposed infrastructure bill in Washington D.C. said some items in the spending plan are duplicative and too expensive.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, says a deal is coming together to spend $1.2 trillion on infrastructure across the country.

“The deal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our nation’s roads, railways, and bridges; to make high-speed internet and clean water a reality for every household in America; and to create millions of good-paying, family-supporting union jobs across the country,” Durbin’s office said in a statement.

During a virtual news conference Friday, Durbin championed more money for rail, roads and bridges, electric charging stations and electrifying busses, and for replacing lead water pipes and for more broadband installation.

“We have a goal of connecting every American to reliable high-speed internet and this bill is part of that kind of commitment,” Durbin said.

The $1.2 trillion “is less than what the president was hoping for … and it may be supplemented by a second action called reconciliation in September,” Durbin said.

David Williams, president of Taxpayers Protection Alliance, said the package is too expensive for taxpayers, especially if it’s just the first of several spending bills.

“This $1.2 trillion bill is going to lead to another budget deal that’s $3.5 trillion, so there is a massive, massive amount of spending that’s happening in Washington D.C. right now,” Williams told WMAY.

Williams was also critical that some of the proposed spending Congress has already approved, like replacing lead pipes and installing broadband.

“They’ve already done this, in the CARES Act in March, the COVID-relief bill, there was $300 billion for water infrastructure and broadband, so now they’re even forgetting what they did earlier in the year with other spending,” Williams said. “And that’s my concern. There’s a lot of duplication and it’s going to cost taxpayers a lot of money.”

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