BOSTON (CBS) — Representative Stephen Lynch joined WBZ-TV Political Analyst Jon Keller to discuss everything from President Biden’s infrastructure bill to Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening decisions.
Last week, the President rolled out part one of a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan paid for by corporate taxes and taxes on high-earning individuals. In a speech, Lynch shared that he was concerned about tax revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE: 'Now Is The Time To Get Us Home,' Those Who Served In Afghanistan Say It's Time To Go
“The pace of the recovery worries me. I believe in the recovery, I am fully confident in the recovery, but the pace of that, given the sort of checkerboard situation we have here with the [state] responses we have to the pandemic and the economic activity, that allows for some variation as well,” he told Keller.
In the same speech, Lynch said to be wise in the decisions to raise the revenue. “Businesses coming back will be fragile and so they will need extra support. If we clobber them coming out of the gate, they’ll never survive,” he explained. “Now we just passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, there’s substantial support there. We have provided the resources but as we’ve seen with the C.A.R.E.S. Act, sometimes the revenue didn’t get to the people we thought were most deserving.”
Lynch came down hard on the MBTA after it proposed layoffs and service cuts a few weeks ago. He said it made no sense after the organization received $1 billion in federal funding. When Keller argued that the MBTA was trying to eliminate waste while determining the new needs of riders in a post-pandemic world, Lynch said that’s didn’t matter.
“The devil is in the details, Jon,” he said. “These cuts were scheduled for May, June, and July. They had maintained ferry service across Boston Harbor for December, January, and February, and their cuts were scheduled for May, June, and July, at a point where we would actually have the vaccines out there in a big way. We’ve been ramping up the vaccines so we wanted the money and the activity to surge.”
Lynch did give credit to Gov. Charlie Baker and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak for reviewing the plan and making changes.READ MORE: NH Youth Baseball Team Forced To Cancel Trip To Cooperstown Over COVID Vaccine Requirement
Lynch said Baker “may have been a bit premature” allowing recent sectors of the economy to reopen while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned about another coronavirus surge.
“But at that moment he was following the data. It looked really good, however, we’ve got more recent data that indicates it may have been premature. But I think Secretary Sudders and the governor are looking closely at that and if necessary they will retrench a little bit.”
He said he’s confident Baker would reinstate some coronavirus regulations if that’s what the data presented.
“If his energy and his work ethic are any indication, he’s probably looking at running for re-election. You don’t do this on the way out, he’s been hyperactive and hyperattentive to the situation here,” Lynch added about Baker.
His one question for Boston mayoral candidates is “can you represent the whole city?”
“It’s time for change, I think,” Lynch said in regards to the race and gender of the mayor. “You can feel that. People are eager to see that. But that will not determine the success of the mayor.”MORE NEWS: Governor Says J & J Pause Will Not Significantly Impact Massachusetts Vaccination Schedule
Lynch told Keller he intends on having a good relationship with the mayor regardless of who it is. “I bring money back to the city and the mayor gets to spend it. How can that relationship go bad?”