OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Buried deep in the $715-billion infrastructure bill is something pretty bizarre for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In the bill that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, a whopping $7.2 million is earmarked for building just one block of a road in an industrial area of San Francisco that sits within Pelosi’s congressional district.
Section 107 of the bill is entitled “Member Designated Project Authorizations.” It says: “The amount listed for each member designated project in the table…shall be available…for fiscal year 2022 to carry out each project.”
The 196th project will get $7,200,000 to literally build one block of a road.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority website explains the Quint-Jerrold Connector Road project:
The proposed Quint-Jerrold Connector Road will reestablish a connection between Oakdale Avenue and Jerrold Avenue via a new road along the west side of the Caltrain tracks.
Vehicles traveling between Oakdale and Jerrold currently use Phelps Street, which runs past many homes and was not designed to handle significant traffic.
Residents along Phelps have raised concerns about safety and increased noise. Reestablishing the segment of Quint Street that was cut off will provide a safer, more direct connection between Oakdale and Jerrold avenues. Moreover, the Quint-Jerrold Connector Road is part of a package of projects necessary to supporting a potential a new Caltrain station in the neighborhood.
The webpage adds:
“Total project cost is approximately $19.5 million. The project has received $2.7 million in half-cent sales tax funds from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and has a commitment of approximately $4.7 million in additional half-cent sales tax funds. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has committed $4.125 million to the project.”
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 67-32 to advance the roughly $1 trillion proposal, which is not quite the $3.5 trillion measure that Democrats really wanted.
The legislation would provide roughly $550 billion to repair infrastructure by using unspent money that was originally intended to provide coronavirus relief and other areas.
With the Senate currently tied at 50-50, Democrats are attempting to ram through the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill through budget reconciliation, which would allow them to avoid the 60-vote threshold to hold a debate in the Senate.
However, Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has thrown a wrench in her own party’s plan.
Sinema voted in favor of advancing debate on the bill but has made it quite clear she does not and will not support voting for the $3.5 trillion measure.
“I have also made clear that while I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s everyday families get ahead,” Sinema said in a written statement.
Sinema’s comments on the overall budget bill strongly suggest that Democrats won’t even be able to get 50 votes to pass their more expansive plan, which is the $3.5 trillion measure.
It didn’t take long for members of the socialist “Squad” to attack Sinema on Twitter.
New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin.”
Sinema has been a thorn in the Democrats’ side for quite some time.