Pascrell and the Politics of Lead Pipes

GARFIELD – Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between want to drink clean water.

So as Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. visited a local park Tuesday morning to award a $2.4 million grant to remove lead pipes from the city’s water supply, he made the point that nothing about this was partisan.


But these days it is awfully tough to remove politics from just about anything.

The ceremonial check on display said the grant was “courtesy of President Biden & congressional Democrats.”

The money involved came from a massive infrastructure bill passed last year. This was a Democratic initiative, but some Republicans did vote for it. (And a handful of Dems voted against it).

At any rate, Pascrell said he knows who voted “no” but that story is for another day.

That day actually came a few minutes later when Pascrell noted that some House members who opposed the infrastructure bill still show up at press conferences when the fruits of the legislation are being highlighted.

This is how some politicians behave. If we digress a bit, I recall years ago a county freeholder complaining about the board raising their pay. But he still accepted the raise. Go figure.

In this case, Pascrell said he understood the “no” voters, “But dammit, don’t go for the pictures.”

More generally, the congressman said money for lead-free pipes and other infrastructure projects is what government should do.

The project, which will take a few months, will alleviate water concerns for about 11,000 city residents, which is roughly a third of the population.

“Government can do good stuff when it puts its mind to it.” he said.

However, he said a problem with some on the far right these days is a belief that government itself is the problem – that it is incapable of performing tasks well. He said these House members would be happy to stop the federal government from doing just about anything.

Pascrell just started his 27th year in Congress, but this start was different from all the others. A simple swearing-in ceremony was delayed four days because of Republican infighting over electing a Speaker.

What’s going to happen when the House reconvenes next week?

“Chapter Two,” Pascrell said.

Interestingly, Pascrell said the polarization today and the sharp divide among Republicans was years in the making, suggesting it goes back to Newt Gingrich, the speaker when Pascrell arrived in 1997.

While it may be popular to do so with many Democrats, Pascrell said you can’t blame all the problems of today on Donald Trump.

As for the current president, Pascrell was asked about the confidential documents found in Joe Biden’s home and private office.

Pascrell said he opposed the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the matter, which he seems to think was a simple mistake on Biden’s part.

Or as Pascrell put it with typical bluntness, “It may have been stupid, but it was not intentional.”

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2 responses to “Pascrell and the Politics of Lead Pipes”

  1. The massive infrastructure bill does little for infrastructure, and more for special interests! It ignores problems that need immediate attention ie the BORDER!

    NO responsible legislator would support this monstrosity! There were some good parts of the bill, however, the BAD out weighed the good parts, such as the 87,000 new armed IRS agents!

    Sadly, this is typical Pascrell/Democrat boondoggle legislation! The new Republican Congressional majority will put an end to such irresponsible legislation!

  2. All Henry cares about is the f’n border. Don’t these people realize governments are set up and created for the purpose of working on more than one thing at a time. The “border” crisis has become the rallying cry of the narrow minded and uneducated.
    Roofing Ofallon MO

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