Oklahoma's U.S. senators and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt find themselves on opposite sides of Tuesday's trillion-dollar infrastructure bill as it clears the U.S. Senate.
Holt said if passed in the House of Representatives and signed by the president, the bill would bring several infrastructure projects to Oklahoma City.
Sen. James Lankford said it’s the price tag, not the projects he’s concerned about.
“This is a massive investment infrastructure that our country has been talking about for a very long time,” Holt said after the bill cleared the U.S. Senate 69-30 Tuesday.
“Typically, I would go to support an infrastructure bill, but this one I definitely cannot,” Lankford said in a Facebook live video on the way to the vote.
Sen. Jim Inhofe joined Lankford in voting against the bill.
“I think it’s just in line with the kind of infrastructure investments that we’ve made historically and it’s easy to support and it’s definitely good for Oklahoma City,” Holt said.
The package includes $550 billion for roads, bridges, broadband, water systems and trains. Holt said it will make possible plans for Amtrak to extend its Oklahoma City service north to Wichita and Kansas City.
According to the congressional budget office, the plan will add $250 billion to the deficit.
“I’ve been aggressively pushing back against to say let’s do the infrastructure that is actual infrastructure and let’s do the part that we can actually afford,” Lankford said.
“Instead of working to build a real, substantive infrastructure bill, these sideshow negotiations produced a grab-bag of bad policy decisions that weren’t vetted…” Inhofe said in a statement.
Last month, Holt joined a bipartisan group of mayors and governors meeting with President Biden to support the plan.
“Every member of our delegation and every member of congress at some point has said that they want to see more infrastructure investment, and this is that package,” he said.