It's time for Republicans to walk away from infrastructure negotiations

To be clear, the plan would have Democrats ram this bill through while also expecting Republicans to vote for another infrastructure bill with nearly $600 billion in new spending. So in total, we are talking about $4.1 trillion in new spending.

The underlying spending being considered is bad on the merits, but it is completely irresponsible at a time when the U.S. is facing the largest debt as a share of the economy in its history — surpassing even World War II. It is absurd when the economy, which has already had $6 trillion worth of government infusions since the spring of 2020, is clearly recovering from the pandemic as the economy reopens — and when inflation is increasingly worrisome. Meanwhile, with the Medicare system already driving the long-term debt problem due to the increased retirement-age population and rising health care costs, the legislation would recklessly expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing services.

If Senator Joe Manchin wants to go along with this insanity, Democrats have the power to ram through much of their agenda on a partisan basis. But Republicans should do absolutely nothing to grease the wheels of this abomination by giving it the imprimatur of bipartisanship.