Republicans block infrastructure bill over funding dispute

Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on funding for a comprehensive infrastructure bill. Differences between the two parties center on who should pay the majority of the cost.

Tom Buffenbarger, the America’s Work Force Union Podcast independent labor voice, joined today’s episode to discuss infrastructure funding. He also discussed union elections, voting rights and more.

Union election in Tennessee

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently authorized a union election at a Nissan plant in Tennessee, where the Machinists Union sought to organize only 87 of the plant’s 4,300 employees. However, this election is only authorized for the entire workforce.

The Machinists Union said they will request a review of the decision since the 87 workers they are seeking to organize are highly specialized and have unique needs.

Buffenbarger expressed enthusiasm there is even a discussion happening about a union election. It shows progress is being made in the anti-union south. Additionally, Tennessee is a so-called “Right to Work” state, furthering the challenges.

Voting rights

Buffenbarger then discussed attacks on voter rights in various states following the 2020 election. Republican controlled legislatures are taking action to curb the number of early voting days and hours, remove drop boxes, increase identification requirements and more.

He said many Republicans are not transparent with their intentions, ultimately using minimal reason to pass sweeping legislation. He added that Democrats need to identify these actions and pass federal legislation to stop these efforts.

Funding infrastructure

Republicans are putting up the blockades on President Biden’s infrastructure bill, offering much smaller options that would address few problems. One of the ways they are blocking the proposed legislation is by putting up a wall regarding the funding of the bill.

Democrats have offered a massive package to address a wide range of infrastructure items. Democrats proposed paying for the bill by imposing higher taxes on corporations and the rich, insisting that no person or family earning less than $400,000 per year would see a tax increase.

Republicans have rejected the offer, instead seeking to protect the current corporate tax rate and instead impose a hike on the gas tax. Buffenbarger said this will pass the cost of the bill onto the middle class who rely on vehicles powered by gasoline.


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