Toledo Leaders Slam Republican Senate Candidates for Attacking Infrastructure Bill

State Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson

Sojourner’s Truth Staff

On Thursday, August 26, several Toledo leaders held a press conference to condemn Republican Senate candidates’ opposition to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

“Democrats are delivering for working families by creating good-paying jobs and investing in roads, bridges, water pipes, and high-speed internet. But instead of standing up for our state and supporting this commonsense plan Ohio Republicans running for Senate are too busy jockeying for Trump’s endorsement,” said State Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson during the event.

The bill will bring a one-time supplemental appropriation of $548 billion to fund everything from major highway projects, to mass transit, to Great Lakes restoration and bringing broadband internet access to areas that don’t have it.

Ironically, the bill is the culmination of a bipartisan effort led, in great part, by Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman who is retiring. The Republicans vying to replace him – Josh Mandel, former Ohio treasurer; Jane Timken, former chair of the Ohio Republican Party; J.D. Vance, author and venture capitalist; Mike Gibbons, Cleveland businessman; Bernie Moreno, Cleveland car dealer – have all issued statements opposing the Portman crafted legislation in order to curry favor from Donald Trump who has stated his own opposition.

Erika White

Trump often announced that his administration would be creating an infrastructure bill – vowing to “begin the urgent task of rebuilding” the USA – only to fail in four years to bring any such legislation to the table.

CWA Local 4319 President Erika White: “Clearly, the Ohio Republican Senate candidates who are opposed to this funding don’t care about helping working families or growing jobs in Ohio – or else they would support the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Instead, they only care about looking out for themselves and their political ambitions. Ohioans deserve leaders focused on Ohio. It’s time for the House to pass this vital bill so we can make meaningful investments in our infrastructure and build our economy.”

Mandel, the polling leader in the race, has made it clear that his primary concern is more about the fact that the Republicans in the Senate who have supported the bill – 19 of 50 senators – should not have embraced the spirit of bipartisanship. “Now is not the time for bipartisanship in DC — now is the time for fighting the woke liberal agenda,” said Mandel. “If I were in the Senate I would have fought tooth and nail to stop this bill which is a wasteful wish list of the radical left.”

Tony Totty

UAW Local 14 President Tony Totty would disagree with such sentiments: “It’s past time for us to make upgrades to our roads, bridges, public transit, and water pipes. It’s shameful leading Ohio GOP Senate candidates have decided they would block progress for all of our families to put their corporate special interest donors first.”

Parts of the infrastructure bill will be paid for by redirecting money from previously awarded coronavirus relief funds and enhanced unemployment funds that states rejected. The Congressional Budget Office has said the bill will add $256 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years.