November’s infrastructure bill drew swift condemnation from U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, who blasted and voted against the bipartisan federal effort to repair bridges and bring the country’s aging infrastructure up to 21st century standards.
“Today’s vote was not about rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure but rather about spending trillions of dollars on the latest liberal wish list,” Granger said at the time, parroting right-wing talking points by pundits and fellow Republican politicians.
A paltry 13 representatives and 19 senators from the Republican party voted in favor of the bill that sent $1.2 trillion in investments to red and blue states.
Granger voted against the bill.
Included in it was $403 million that was recently allocated for Granger’s pet project, the stalled $1.2 billion Panther Island development on the North Side. Granger has since changed her views on the “liberal wish list” now that she’s receiving federal dollars from the same bill.
Yesterday morning, she said publicly that it’s a “great day for Fort Worth. Today, Fort Worth will be safer and stronger.”
Granger conceived the massive development that dates to 2004. The Republican incumbent who is seeking her 14th term in office this November has been and remains a vocal supporter of the former, disgraced president, even though funding for her pet project stalled under his administration and is now millions of dollars richer under President Joe Biden’s.
Through campaign ads, she has been quick to blast Biden and Democrats for out-of-control spending on “socialist agendas” even as she sought hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government for the Panther Island Project that critics describe as a wasteful giveaway to the wealthy because waterfront properties and upscale developments typically don’t cater to working-class folks.
Congressman Marc Veasey made it clear where the $403 million came from even as Granger failed to but took credit for it with a straight face.
“I was pleased to vote for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and work with both local partners and the Biden-Harris Administration to secure key funding for this project,” Veasey said publicly. “I will keep working to ensure the success of this project and that other funding will come to North Texas to help our economy grow and make long-overdue improvements to our nation’s infrastructure.”
The largely unfinished mix of flood control levees, apartments, waterways, bridges, and developments has been the frequent target of criticism from locals who question the need for an upscale development north of downtown. The project’s proponents tout the flood control protections and economic growth the project can bring to the North Side.
Panther Island continues to be described as a flood control project that is designed to protect downtown Fort Worth even though the current system of levees that manages the Trinity River has prevented serious flooding in the downtown area for several decades. The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), which governs Panther Island monies, has been plagued with documented instances of wasteful spending and nepotism that our news magazine has reported on for the better part of two decades.
Mayor Mattie Parker publicly said the federal funds “make our community safer. This is an incredible moment in Fort Worth’s history.”
TRWD board president Leah King said the funding allocation is great news.
“This funding addresses Fort Worth’s flood risks that are a result of a rapidly growing population which has tripled in size since our current levee system was built in 1960,” she said. “This funding will update our levee system to reduce the risk of flooding to over 2,400 acres of Fort Worth neighborhoods.”