"Why wouldn't you want this?" he wondered.
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): My staff and I have read it, totally. And defending it, my gosh, why wouldn't you want this is one of my colleagues said. $110 billion for broken down bridges to replace or to make them better, also to make them safer; $65 billion to bring broadband in areas that do not have it, creating jobs along the way; $16 billion for Army Corps of Engineers to address coastal restoration issues, and other things that place Americans at risk of losing their homes and their businesses from floods.
And by the way, did I mention, it creates a heck of a lot of jobs. And I disagree with your representation. It is paid for. Now, it may not be paid for the way CBO scores it, but it's paid for in a way that anybody looking at over common sense would say--
INGRAHAM: Yes. Senator, we had put all those bullets up, I think pretty accurately summing up what you just pointed out that's in the bill. And you're right, it does include all that. But it also spends billions on these carbon capture projects, almost a billion for a large scale - hold on a second, hold on, large-scale pilot projects. Our viewers don't know about this. In another 2.5 billion for what's called demonstration project.
So to some folks, and I think the journal would agree with this, sounds kind of like Solyndra 2.0. So how does a Republican and you're a fiscal conservative, how do you justify that, sir?
CASSIDY: Absolutely. If you speak to businesses, they're trying to export to markets like Europe, and they can't export to those markets unless they show that they are offsetting their carbon footprint. We're going to lose the European Union as a market. What this does is it helps build carbon dioxide pipelines, by the way, putting pipe fitters to work and construction workers to work to take that carbon off, and they use it for another product, or to sequester it beneath the ground.
Now, by the way, that makes our people more, more competitive. And going into markets like the EU, that is absolutely fiscal conservatism, because it puts Americans to work, and it makes our businesses more competitive.
INGRAHAM: So you think the rules of trade with Europe under Biden are - those are fair rules? So you are trusting the Biden trade regime?
CASSIDY: So that won't be up to Biden. It is the European Union that is putting these border adjustment taxes in place, this positions us so that our people don't lose those margins...
INGRAHAM: Or dancing to Europe's tune instead of using our leverage. But you're right. That's up to Biden. Your colleague, Mike Lee, has a different take, as you can imagine, on the bill and he went on the floor last night. Let's watch.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): Some of the wealthiest and most well connected Americans will get rich off of legislation like this. This is an enormous amount of money. $1.2 trillion that we'll be spending here. This at a time when Americans are feeling the pinch of inflation. We further diminished the buying power of the dollar through our reckless spending in order to bring praise and adulation from the media and from each other.
INGRAHAM: And the White House is, as I said, quite giddy about this. Reuters describes this as a glide path to the $3.5 trillion tonight and their write up of this, senator. So your response?
CASSIDY: So a couple things. It is the person in my state stuck in traffic, who's fearful of their home flooding, who wants to have a better job that actually would like to make more money, but doesn't make a lot of money now, who really likes this bill. I talked to Fox News watchers, they love this bill.
Now, is there somebody who's wealthy, but actually for the wealthy, this means less. They have chauffeurs, they have private jets, they can fly here and there if it floods. It's the people who live in their own home who are at risk of flooding, who like this. So now as we are going to $3.5 trillion - as we are going to $3.5 trillion, Pelosi wants to link the two. She doesn't think she has the votes for that $3.5 trillion.
INGRAHAM: Senator, are you on this show tonight saying that Nancy Pelosi hasn't gained out her votes? You actually think that the--
CASSIDY: She just failed to pass the renewal of the eviction to apartments. Believe me. She doesn't think she has to invest in the $3.5 trillion. She's hoping to fold these together so she can get it passed.
INGRAHAM: Well, so--
CASSIDY: And by the way, Mike Lee is helping. Republicans who are trying to send this bill are trying to help Nancy Pelosi. Can you believe that?
INGRAHAM: So, sir, the tax increase that the bipartisan infrastructure bill makes possible, the $3.5 trillion behemoth that you will not support, correct?
CASSIDY: So I reject your characterization. This bill makes that $3.5 trillion less likely to pass and the squad knows it. Bernie knows it. They're the ones who are objecting to this bill, because they think it's less likely that they pass their $3.5 trillion behemoth.