GOP Congressman Admits 'Worry' Democrats Will 'Expand Health Care and Education'

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) expressed his concern with President Joe Biden's ambitious infrastructure bill that he could dash bipartisan support by expanding health care and education in the U.S.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the Republican congressman admitted a wide-ranging $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal was popular on both sides of the aisle, but said elements of the bill were "totally unacceptable," namely measures to increase education, clean energy and health care spending.

Fox News host Mike Emanuel, standing in for Chris Wallace, quizzed Rep. McCaul on whether rejecting popular measures in the infrastructure bill could carry political risk.

In response, Rep. McCaul said there was broad Republican support for many elements of the bill that would finance building roads, bridges and increase internet connectivity in rural regions.

But negotiations over the bill continue with GOP congressmen expressing concern that a large amount of money is going towards so-called "Green New Deal" infrastructure and energy as well as expanding health care and education spending.

Rep. McCaul said: "Well, I think infrastructure is popular, and I think it is bipartisan. And I think, you know, I know the Senate working with the president is trying to work out a bipartisan agreement.

"That's our best chance for success here. I think with the House, [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi put forward was a totally partisan measure. You know, one out of every $2 went to the Green New Deal, totally unacceptable to Republicans."

Rep. McCaul continued: "You know, if you're really serious about this, look at traditional infrastructure, and this is roads, bridges, rural broadband, which is so important to the country right now and not muck it up with things that have nothing to do with infrastructure.

"I worry that they're going to expand health care and education, have nothing to do with infrastructure, and then [Vermont Senator] Bernie Sanders will use a reconciliation process to basically open up to a massive tax increase. And this is a Trojan horse syndrome that I think we're most worried about."

According to Reuters, the bill will include $21 billion in spending on environmental remediation and an additional $20 billion for the creation of an Infrastructure Financing Authority focused on clean transportation and clean energy.

The bill previously appeared to be at risk when shortly after saying bipartisan support had been reached, President Biden said it would be passed "in tandem" with the Democrats' $4 trillion American Families Plan.

In the family plan, the White House said it would look to "add at least four years of free education" by investing to make "college more affordable for low—and middle-income students."

President Biden later walked back his comments, which were perceived as a veto threat by some Republicans, and wavering GOP Congressmen returned to backing the bill.

If passed in September, the grand bill would follow a mammoth $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that was passed in March.

Newsweek has contacted the White House and Rep. McCaul for comment.