Biden lays out 'once-in-a-generation' infrastructure plan

Daniel Fowler
April 1, 2021

"I am going to put an end to that", the president said.

The plan is something of an opening offer and congressional Democrats will work out numerous details in the coming weeks. Biden also said that the it will have two parts: the American jobs and American families plan.

The American Trucking Associations also said that while Biden's plan is "an important marker" at the start of the legislative process, a sustainable, user-based funding mechanism is needed.

The White House and Democrats view the bill as their marquee effort to address climate change, and several provisions are aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the U.S.

The president's plan envisions, over a span of eight years, repairing 32,000 kilometers of roadways, 10 economically significant bridges and 10,000 smaller ones, getting rid of risky lead pipes in water systems and significantly upgrading the country's electrical grid, computer broadband and transit systems.

"What I'm proposing is a one-time capital investment of roughly $2 trillion in America's future, spread largely over eight years".

The plan comes on the heels of Biden gaining congressional approval of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief deal exclusively on the strength of the votes of Democratic lawmakers over unified Republican opposition.

Mr. Biden compared his "transformational" plan to the ambitious US space program of the 1960s, saying it would boost the livelihoods of poor and middle-class Americans, take aim at global warming, and be funded by increased taxes on large companies and the rich.

"It seems like President Biden has an insatiable appetite to spend more money and raise people's taxes", Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip, said in an interview.

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He proposed to fund it by raising taxes on companies and rich Americans whom he said don't pay their fair share.

FILE - A worker welds on the Ninth Street bridge under reconstruction in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 6, 2020. "You know, China and other countries are eating our lunch", he said.

"It's like a Trojan Horse that's called infrastructure", Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. Increasing the gas tax, an idea often raised as a way to finance infrastructure spending, also isn't in the plan. "I have nothing against millionaires and billionaires", Biden said.

The US Chamber of Commerce backed the infrastructure push, but said Biden's proposal was "dangerously misguided" over how to fund it.

U.S. President Joe Biden's vast plan to modernize the nation's infrastructure includes hundreds of billions of dollars to boost the market for electric vehicles, renewable power and advanced clean energy technologies, while stripping away subsidies for fossil fuels. He outlined the new plan in the same city where he held his first campaign rally almost two years ago - at a Teamsters hall with a pledge to fight for middle-class Americans.

A coalition of dozens of unions, religious, policy and advocacy organizations (including the AFL-CIO and the National Organization for Women), however, is supportive of the overall plan and how to pay for it.

For some progressive and environmental groups, the Biden package is insufficient. And it would replace 100% of the nation's lead pipes and service lines.

Biden invoked the American space program of the 1960s in touting his plans for a giant expansion in federal funding for science and technology. There's $50 billion earmarked for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and $40 billion more in upgrading research capacity in laboratories across the nation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus members Monday that she aims to move the infrastructure bill through her chamber by July 4, though it could slip to later that month, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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