Washington, D.C. In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) joined Squawk Box this morning to discuss the infrastructure plan being unveiled by Senate Republicans later today and John Kerry’s misguided attempt to browbeat banks into lending only to politically favored industries.
 

 
During the interview, Senator Toomey discussed the Senate Republican infrastructure package and his hopes that it spurs bipartisan negotiations:
         
“We’ll be unveiling this later today, Joe. I think the important distinction and the reason I think there is some chance of this prompting the negotiations that would lead to a compromise – the reason is that ours is actually infrastructure. And the American people actually do support increasing our already substantial investment in what they understand to be infrastructure. To me, that is the things that we use in common to move people and products and things and services in our economy. So, it’s roads and bridges and airports and ports and waterways. And it’s a serious proposal. It will be certainly several hundred billion dollars over a period of time. We can pay for this without debilitating tax increases, such as those that President Biden is proposing. And the American people support actual infrastructure. So look, I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out but I think this idea, this set of principles will unite Republicans and there isn’t going to be much in it that the Democrats will oppose on the spending side. They may object to how we choose to pay for it. But I’m hoping it launches a meaningful discussion.”
 
Senator Toomey also sounded the alarm regarding John Kerry’s attempts to browbeat banks into lending only to politically preferred companies:
 
“These are important questions and this is exactly why John Kerry shouldn’t be browbeating banks into allocating credit in this country to only politically preferred industries. It’s a very bad idea. We still use fossil fuels for 80% of our energy and that’s not going to change overnight. And the idea that the administration is going around without any statutory authority to do this and apparently twisting arms at banks, which is very reminiscent as you may recall, of Operation Chokepoint during the Obama Administration. But this is no way to enact major changes in policy -- to intimidate banks into not providing credit to disfavored industries. So yes, it’s not just me. It was all my Republican colleagues on the Banking Committee signed this letter to John Kerry. And I hope the president doesn’t go down this road either with executive orders that would have a similar effect. We need to have a debate in this country about how much of a cost we want to bear to further reduce CO2 emissions. And we ought to be asking well how much will it reduce these emission, how constructive and important is that, what are the costs and what are the benefits? We shouldn’t be browbeating banks into not lending to certain companies.”
 
 
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