No, the infrastructure bill does not include any language on 'critical race theory.'
In an appearance on Fox News, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Wednesday debunked misinformation spread by some of his Republican colleagues, who have alleged the new infrastructure bill approved by the Senate on Tuesday contained legislation on "critical race theory."
Republicans have been attacking anti-racism efforts for months, often inaccurately describing them as "critical race theory." (Critical race theory is the academic study of institutional and systemic racism.) The party has previously said elevating complaints about "critical race theory" is key to its midterm election strategy.
The Republican Study Committee, which is the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives, released a memo making related allegations on Aug. 2. The memo claimed that the infrastructure bill attempts to "fix 'racism' in highways" and pushes the left's "social justice mission" because "the term 'equity' is included 64 times."
In his Fox appearance, Cassidy noted that " people are deliberately misrepresenting the bill." He explained that references to equity in the bill simply invoke existing federal law against discrimination.
He concluded by noting that the attacks on the bill are "something put out there, misinformation by those who should know better, in an effort to decrease support for bridges, roads, flood protection, coastal restoration and hundreds of thousands of jobs."
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed 69-30. Nineteen Republican senators joined Democrats to approve the bill. All of the no votes came from Republicans.
From the August 11 edition of "Fox News Live":
JACQUI HENRICH, Fox News: You also had to clear up some misinformation about critical race theory in this bill, you said on Twitter that equity is not a catch phrase for CRT, were you surprised you had to address that and what does it say about how far apart the two parties are?
BILL CASSIDY: No, I will say that people are deliberately misrepresenting the bill. There is one single line, or maybe two, maybe three, in this bill which says that if you take a grant from the federal government, you cannot discriminate. And then it plugs in anti-discrimination language which is already in federal law.
Okay, so I get a grant, I'm supposed to make sure everybody has access to the internet, should I be allowed to discriminate? Of course not.
It has nothing to do with CRT, it is something put out there, misinformation by those who should know better, in an effort to decrease support for bridges, roads, flood protection, coastal restoration and hundreds of thousands of jobs. I don't know why they're doing it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.