The Biden administration is still working on its bipartisan infrastructure bill, all while the increase in severe summer weather events is showing the need for stronger climate infrastructure investment. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) explains what’s going on in Congress with these infrastructure talks, supply chain shortages and threats to voting rights.
“If we can’t have a voting rights act that protects people’s right to cast their ballot … once we’ve given away the fundamentals of democracy, what do we have? This is the hill to die on.” —Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5)
Listen: Rep. Kildee on what’s happening right now in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Dan Kildee represents Michigan’s fifth district. He says Biden’s infrastructure bill does not reach the more than $4 trillion needed in infrastructure investment estimated by the American Society of Civil Engineers. “No. It’s not enough. And that’s why we’ve been working to get an infrastructure bill that is equal to the size of the problem.” Kildee says he’s exhausted when people say the bill should just include traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges. “We have to have a broader definition of what infrastructure is … What we need is broadband. That’s the highway that connects everyone to the economy.”
On the recent voting rights bills being circulated, Kildee says Congress needs to defend the interests of the American people. “If we can’t have a voting rights act that protects people’s right to cast their ballot … once we’ve given away the fundamentals of democracy, what do we have? This is the hill to die on.”
He says his Republican colleagues defending the filibuster do not understand its role in government. “The filibuster is not as old as the Constitution, it’s as old as the Jim Crow laws … the idea that it has become an institution, is just blatant ignorance of history.”