IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Biden ribs GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville for touting broadband funds he voted against

"See you at the groundbreaking," the president tweeted at the Alabama senator after he praised the $1.4 billion in "crucial" federal broadband funding.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville speaks at a press conference at the Capitol
Sen. Tommy Tuberville touted broadband funds for Alabama from an infrastructure bill that passed in 2021, which he voted against.Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images file

President Joe Biden trolled Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., on Wednesday for touting the arrival of federal funds to his state from a bill he voted against.

"See you at the groundbreaking," Biden tweeted at Tuberville after the senator praised the news that Alabama was set to receive $1.4 billion to improve broadband access in the state.

The funds are from the $555 billion infrastructure bill Biden campaigned for and signed into law in November 2021. Tuberville was one of 30 Republican senators to vote against the legislation, but he praised the arrival of the funds on social media this week.

"Broadband is vital for the success of our rural communities and for our entire economy. Great to see Alabama receive crucial funds to boost ongoing broadband efforts," Tuberville tweeted Tuesday.

The tweet was quickly tagged with a "context" note from Twitter users. "Important context to know here: while Sen Tuberville is celebrating this grant now, he voted against it when it came up in the Senate, and never expressed support for it, until now," the note said.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison also tweeted in response to Tuberville, and much less gently than Biden.

"Y’all always talking about government waste… the biggest government waste is paying the salary of a Senator who doesn’t do a damn thing but vote No on all the things needed in AL!" he wrote.

A spokesperson for Tuberville, Steven Stafford, said in a statement the he'd "voted against the infrastructure bill because it wasted Alabamians’ tax dollars. It spent too much to get too little in return for Alabama." 

But, Stafford said, "now that it is law of the land, the people of Alabama deserve their fair share. Coach is proud to advocate for this funding to go to Alabama."

Tuberville has been the subject of bipartisan criticism in recent months for stalling the promotions of more than 150 military officials in protest of a recent Defense Department policy that provides travel expenses and paid time off for service members and their dependents seeking abortions.

The conflict over the abortion issue — both Tuberville's hold on nominations and the state's passage of a restrictive abortion law — has spurred speculation that the White House might overrule the Trump administration's decision to make the state the headquarters of the U.S. Space Command, which Tuberville referred to in a tweet responding to Biden.

The senator asked if the "groundbreaking" Biden was referring to was the "groundbreaking for Space Command in Huntsville?"

Tuberville is far from the first Republican to tout funding from the infrastructure bill despite having voted against it. An NBC News review in January 2022 found at least eight House Republicans had promoted different aspects of the bill's funding for infrastructure projects despite having voted against the legislation.

Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time: “We welcome their support for the president’s agenda — an agenda that was supported by some Republicans, not the majority.”

“Hopefully they’ll take the right vote to support their communities and jobs, job creation, in the future,” she added. “Maybe it’ll make them think twice.”

CORRECTION (June 28, 2023, 5:13 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the date of an NBC News review of House Republicans touting aspects of the infrastructure bill’s funding. It was in January 2022, not January 2023.