The 2,702-page bill, which passed the Senate 68-29 earlier this month, would utilize $1.2 trillion of taxpayer money for infrastructure projects – or, as the measure states, "for federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes."
Mary Beth Waddell, director of federal affairs at the Family Research Council, tells AFN that voters need to examine the fine print to reveal those "other purposes" called out in the description.
"There is something called the Digital Equity Act that was inputted into this bill," she notes, "and it elevates sexual orientation and gender identity to a specially protected class. And that's not what you think of when you think of infrastructure."
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) was among those who voted against the "INVEST in America Act" (H.R. 3684). In a related tweet, he said sarcastically: "Now gender identity is infrastructure. Can't wait to see what else is in this bill."
The language of H.R. 3684 specifically cites the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VI of that bill, which Waddell says is a stepping stone to achieving the ultimate goal of The Equality Act – which is basically a total overhaul of the federal civil rights framework.
Waddell was asked the status of the measure. "When it comes to the budget reconciliation resolution, we had a number of Democrats who said they were not going to vote for that until they passed the infrastructure bill – then they would move on to it," she responds.
"But that was not the order that [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi wanted [for the bills to be passed]. So, they negotiated that they would vote on this infrastructure bill by September 27."
So roads and bridges might be repaired or replaced with passage of the measure – but it also contains The Equality Act, which LGBT activists and proponent in the past have not been able to succeed in getting into law.