NH Dems Slam Sununu On Infrastructure Bill, He Says He Has Questions
State representatives from throughout New Hampshire joined together on Thursday to slam Gov. Chris Sununu for his apparent opposition to a bipartisan federal infrastructure bill, but his spokesperson said he simply has questions.
Members of the New Hampshire Democratic Party point to an interview with Jack Heath where Sununu, a Republican, talked about his concerns regarding spending in Washington D.C. when asked about the infrastructure bill.
They released a statement about it on Aug. 9 which included a portion of the radio segment.
"HEATH [00:06:14] Governor, we're going to let you go after this because I know your schedule. But real quickly, we had Senator Maggie Hassan on the show last week talking about the infrastructure bill it expects, it looks like it will be voted on in the Senate this week. She's one of the Democratic senators working with the Republicans and she stressed bipartisanship on this infrastructure bill. I further asked her, though, beyond the infrastructure bill, if it passes as is or expect to do on reconciliation, which a lot of people in the public don't know. But on other budget reconciliation items, if it was all Democrat driven by the Democratic Party with no Republican support, would she be open to any additional spending on reconciliation? And she basically said she would be she look at some of it were areas she feels are still needed. Do you think we need any reconciliation budget spending beyond this infrastructure bill?
I don't know, it's 2,700 pages. I haven't read it. I don't know exactly where the money's going. I hope it is actually in infrastructure. A lot of times they say infrastructure, it's really not. Beyond that, people have to understand we got 28 trillion in debt. Show me how we're going to pay for this without burdening America with the bill for four generations and generations. So I just I guess I would leave it as to say, look, I have concerns on any spending coming out of Washington."
Sununu started answering the question by saying everything that is done in Washington should be done in a bipartisan manner.
Sununu said the spending to date, never mind the infrastructure bill, is already causing problems for citizens.
"Inflation is the worst tax you can impose on low-income families because those low-income families have to pay the high prices of gas, the high price of food, the high price of building materials, they have to pay that as much as everybody else," Sununu said.
Sununu said federal officials have to give states and localities the ability to spend the money as they see fit.
Gates MacPherson, deputy communications director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said on Thursday that U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan deserve credit for their hard work.
"This bipartisan bill will repair our roads and bridges, invest in clean energy, provide high-speed internet access to rural areas, improve our coastal resiliency, and create high-paying jobs for Granite Staters. But just like with the state budget, Chris Sununu prefers to play partisan politics instead of doing the hard work of forging bipartisan agreements that will put people first," MacPherson said.
Prior to MacPherson releasing that statement, she said during a virtual press conference that Sununu is being pressured by Mitch McConnell.
People have been talking about Sununu being pressured from the national Republican party for some time now.
Many speculators think Sununu may have a shot at beating Hassan in 2022.
There was a McConnell-Sununu Exposed statewide tour that stopped in Dover in July.
Sununu is expected to join Mitch McConnell’s campaign chief Rick Scott at an event that is co-sponsored by State Representative and Laconia mayoral candidate Dawn Johnson on Saturday at Gunstock Mountain Resort.
State Representatives Jaci Grote, of Rye; Laura Telerski, of Nashua; Donovan Fenton, of Keene and Joshua Query, of Manchester, took part in the virtual press conference on Thursday.
Grote is concerned about erosion on the state beaches.
"Investing in our state is as important as investing in businesses and people," Grote said.
Sununu spokesperson Ben Vihstadt was asked what statement Sununu has for the Democrats who are slamming him for being in opposition to the infrastructure bill.
This is what Vihstadt wrote:
1. Nothing has even been signed into law, the governor has not weighed in for or against the bipartisan infrastructure bill. But he has questions.
2. The state hasn’t even seen any guidance on how to spend the dollars, out of a 2500+ page document.
3. The Governor is hoping the federal government gives the state flexibility in how to spend the dollars.
4. Until the bill passes and until the state receives guidance on what is or isn’t allowed from Washington, it would be premature and inappropriate to weigh in. Lots of details still need to be worked out.
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.