Biden works to get infrastructure package back on track
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden hopes to put the bipartisan infrastructure deal on track by highlighting its expected economic benefits, stressing that its $ 973 billion would include the biggest transport investment in nearly a century and millions of jobs would be created.
White House officials released an internal memo highlighting the impact on jobs and growth before Biden left for Wisconsin on Tuesday to advocate his case directly with voters. The note, obtained by the Associated Press, notes that the total is four times larger than the infrastructure investment made a dozen years ago in response to the Great Recession and the largest infrastructure package since. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
It also highlights an analysis suggesting that 90% of the jobs generated by the spending could go to workers without a college degree, a key change as the majority of net job gains before the pandemic went to college graduates.
“This is a blue collar plan to rebuild America,” the memo reads.
The potential economic gains were a shared incentive for the group of Democratic and Republican senators who agreed to the deal on Thursday. But the process briefly fell into disarray when Biden suggested the deal would be put on hold until he also received a separate infrastructure, jobs and education package that would be determined solely by Democrats under the framework. of the budget reconciliation process.
Biden said on Saturday it was not a veto threat and on Monday the package seemed to be back on track again.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden was “anxious” for both bills to be approved by Congress and that he would “work with all his heart” to get there.
“The president intends to sign both pieces of legislation,” Psaki said during his daily briefing.
The approval of the two bills by Congress remains long, with the first votes this summer expected in July. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell questioned the upcoming legislative process and mounted new hurdles as he spoke in Kentucky on Monday.
McConnell said he has not yet decided whether he will support the bipartisan package, but he wants Biden to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to they say they will allow the bipartite agreement without requiring that the much larger, broader-up-bill be in place.
“I appreciate that the president has said he is prepared to treat infrastructure separately, but he does not control Congress,” McConnell said at a press conference in Louisville.
The two bills were always expected to evolve in tandem, and this is likely to continue as Biden drops his veto threat but stretches across the aisle for the bipartisan nearly 1 package. Trillion dollars and its own larger package. Democratic leaders are pushing forward on the larger bill, which includes Biden’s families and climate change proposals as well as their own Medicare investments, reaching some $ 6 trillion.
Democratic leaders did not immediately respond to McConnell’s remarks.
The prospect of further economic gains could be a way to gain public support and ease partisan tensions. Biden also faces pressure from Democrats such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the spending is not as huge as it looks because the money is spread out. over several years.
The eight-page White House memo comes from Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, and Senior Advisor Anita Dunn. He says the $ 110 billion for roads and bridges would help relieve traffic and congestion that cost the economy more than $ 160 billion a year. The memo justifies the $ 48.5 billion planned for public transit by citing studies that link light rail and buses to increased incomes and employment for workers. He defends the $ 66 billion for rail line repairs and upgrades, saying current delays and disruptions are weighing on growth.
The bipartite deal would also help develop the market for electric vehicles, improve broadband access, repair water pipes and build resilience against damage from extreme weather events.
Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro in Washington and Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Ky. Contributed to this report.