Alabama Republican Rep. Gary Palmer bragged about funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure bill that passed the House this week and was signed into Law. He boasted about funding for an Alabama project that would be funded by the House. partly encircle Birmingham and “[build] a better future for the Birmingham metro area,” he said in a statement.
But Palmer voted against the infrastructure bill, despite calling getting funding for the project “one of my top priorities.”
Palmer joined! the 200 other RepublicansDespite voting against the bill in the House earlier in the month having cosponsoredA proposal to complete the Northern Beltline, which was already criticized by Indigenous and environmental groupsFor plans to raze forest and potentially pollute and destroyImportant waterways for tribal people.
Democrats like Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) pointed out Palmer’s hypocrisy. Responding to a Palmer tweet promoting the funding, Swalwell said, “You mean the funding you voted against? That funding?”
Palmer’s spokesperson respondedThe spokesperson stated that if funding for the project was included in a separate bill, he would vote for it. As it was, “the bill was full of problems,” the spokesperson said.
However, media and legislators have framed the funding for the Alabama project as follows: a winthe bill is very small. Infrastructure bill allocates $550 billion in new spendingAppalachian states. According to reports, Alabama and West Virginia will each claim approximately half of this amount. E&E NewsThe beltline will receive the majority of the $369 million allocated to Alabama.
For a highway project that’s reliant solely on funding from the federal government’s Appalachian Development Highway System, it would seem that voting for the funding would be a priority for Palmer. Palmer may not have wanted to vote for it, but he might have feared that he would abandon the party or appear to support a bill originally introduced by President Joe Biden. This would make him stand apart from the vast majority in the GOP.
In fact, the 13 House Republicans that voted in favor of the bill are Faced ridiculeFrom other GOP members. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) said that he received several death threats over his vote after extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) posted his office number on Twitter, referring to the Republicans who voted for the bill as “traitors.” One voicemail was particularly violent and vitriolic, and threatened the lives of Upton, his family and his staff, according to a recording of the message.
The GOP has also been looking at formal punishments for members who voted against the bill, including stripping them from their committee assignments.
Palmer’s brag isn’t the first time that Republicans have taken credit for provisions bills that they’ve ultimately voted against. Many Republicans, including Kevin McCarthy (R.California), took credit for provisions bills that they ultimately voted against. toutedMarch saw the passage of several provisions in the stimulus package, including popular provisions like funds to help struggling restaurants. But Every single RepublicanThe bill was defeated by Congress, which has contributed to push poverty levels The country has seen record lows.