OPINION - EDITORIAL

Today is a great example of exactly why you don’t call the game at halftime. You stay on the field and you play all 4 quarters.

What a difference a month makes.

This exact time last month, United States Congressman Jeff Van Drew, R-NJ-2 was being criticized for voting in favor of a “clean” infrastructure bill, when The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Van Drew used sound reasoning which I complimented him for at the time. Still, it drew him some vocal criticism.

They attacked Van Drew for “helping” the Democrats to pass legislation that otherwise would have failed. In other words, they concluded that Van Drew had committed the “high political crime” of helping Joe Biden.

"I worked on and read through every page of this legislation,” said Van Drew.

A majority of this bill funds previously existing federal highway projects that need completing, and nearly half includes new funding for highways, bridges, ports, rural broadband, and will provide investments for hard infrastructure projects that are desperately needed not only in South Jersey, but across America. This bill is paid for through previously existing COVID-19 relief funds as well as unused unemployment money from states and includes no social spending and no new taxes on the American people.

It was a courageous vote that Van Drew cast, because Van Drew knew that he was going to take some pretty harsh criticism; especially until final disposition of the so-called “Build Back Better” Biden gambit played out.

Van Drew’s logic was sound and defendable and I defended Van Drew at the time.

Van Drew did the right thing. We have needed infrastructure reinvestment in America for decades.

But, what Van Drew helped bring down at the same time was the behemoth $ 3 to $ 5 trillion “Build Back Better” scheme.

This boondoggle was a social and environmental plan to burden the American people with onerous new rules and regulations, that would have altered American society as we know it,

Had the infrastructure legislation (that Van Drew voted for) failed … the follow-up large spending measure would have passed. However, since the first measure passed … there is now no question that it materially helped defeat the second, disastrous legislation.

Van Drew has consistently voted against any of the bills that are part of Biden’s so called “Build Back Better” agenda.

That included Van Drew’s vote against passing a short-term continuing resolution and his “no” vote on raising the debt ceiling, which would have given Democrats the funding to ram through their socialist reconciliation package.

"Democratic socialist members such as AOC and her “Squad” voted against the hard infrastructure bill specifically because it did not include the reckless spending they desperately want, and they know that the passage of this bill has ruined any bargaining power they have to force through their socialist reconciliation spending bill,” said Van Drew.

You can read more of AOC’s comments here.

Van Drew correctly assessed that if reconciliation had succeeded, it would raise taxes, spend significant amounts of tax-payer dollars on social programs, give amnesty to illegal immigrants, expand the size of the IRS and allow them to further monitor American bank accounts, and enact Green New Deal policies.

Van Drew has never wavered on his opposition to reconciliation ever becoming a law.

“I will continue to vote against and speak out in opposition against any attempt to pass this bill,” said Van Drew.

Yesterday, United States Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia made it official by declaring that he cannot vote for Biden’s “Build Back Better” spending measure.

This leaves The Senate short of the 50 votes that they need to pass the legislation.

Van Drew has great instincts. He cast a very tough “yes” vote on the initial infrastructure package. He was right about this. Those who rushed to judgement should reassess their earlier criticism of Van Drew.

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