MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s disappointing, but not surprising that Tennessee’s two Republican U.S. senators cast no votes Tuesday on a $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill - a bill that stands to make a world of difference all across the state.
This is the first piece of major legislation during the Joe Biden presidency to receive huge bipartisan support. Nineteen Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the bill. And Roger Wicker of Mississippi was the only one from the Mid-South who voted yes.
But Tennessee senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty just could not bring themselves to support anything that President Biden wants. Or to be more precise, they are determined to object to anything that former President Donald Trump does not want.
More than a few senators from both parties accused Hagerty of simply doing the former president’s bidding - all because Hagerty is beholden to Trump for supporting his bid for the Senate in 2020. The same goes for Blackburn who has carried Trump’s water for years.
But in rejecting the infrastructure bill, Blackburn and Hagerty are also saying no to about $6 billion dollars in highway funds for Tennessee, and nearly a billion in much needed bridge repairs and public transportation. Didn’t we just go two months with the I-40 Bridge shut down because of a cracked beam?
It’s just too bad that we have a couple of senators who care more about partisan politics, than public service. And that’s my point of view.