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After the virus eased, the Biden team prepared a broader economic plan

Washington-Looking ahead to $1.9 trillion in COVID relief The bill, President Joe Biden (Joe Biden) and lawmakers are laying the groundwork for another legislative priority-the long-sought approach to revitalize the country’s roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, which may cause Republicans to resist the high price tag.

Biden and his team have begun discussions with members of Congress about the possible outline of the infrastructure package. Texas’ recent struggles After a brutal winter storm, power outages and water shortages provided an opportunity to reach an agreement on sustained infrastructure spending.

Gina McCarthy, Biden̵

7;s national climate adviser, told the Associated Press The deadly winter storm in Texas should be a “wake-up call” to the need for a more reliable and resilient energy system and other infrastructure.

Liz Sherwood-Randall, the president’s homeland security aide, said: “Infrastructure cannot withstand these extreme weather conditions.” “We know that we can’t just react to extreme weather events. We need to. Plan for them and prepare for them.”

The White House proposal may be made in March.

“It’s time for aggressive action,” said Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, the transportation secretary, who knows the potholes.

In a meeting with state and local highway officials on Thursday, he mentioned that the Trump administration has often promised large-scale initiatives on roads, bridges, etc. that have never been realized.

He said: “I know you are the ones who wait and wait the most patiently, or impatiently, because the current infrastructure week will no longer be a promise of Groundhog Day, but can actually bring generations. Things for international investment.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, after years of insufficient funding, many infrastructures in the United States (roads, bridges, public drinking water systems, dams, airports, public transportation systems, etc.) need major repairs.In its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, Which gives the overall national infrastructure a D+.

Both houses of Congress will use their unsuccessful efforts to obtain the infrastructure bill at the previous session as a starting point.

Last year, the Democrats passed a $1.5 trillion package in the House of Representatives, but the Trump administration and the Republican Senate led to no avail. A Senate panel approved narrower bipartisan legislation in 2019, focusing on reauthorizing the federal transportation plan. As the United States shifts its focus to elections and COVID-19, it is out of control.

Biden has spoken more frequently, and some Democrats are now urging him to bypass the Republican Party in the divided Congress to address the broader priorities urged by interest groups.

During the presidential campaign, Biden promised to deploy $2 trillion Regarding the issue of infrastructure and clean energy, the White House did not rule out a higher price tag. McCarthy said that Biden’s upcoming plan will specifically target job creation, such as investing to increase closed coal mines or power plants, polluting refineries, and other “abandoned workers” in nearby communities.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday: “I have always been a loyal supporter of investment in infrastructure-already outdated-long overdue.” “But he also hopes to do more in nursing. , To help our manufacturing industry do more to increase access to affordable healthcare.” Therefore, the size (packaging) and its components, the order has not yet been determined. “

I-Vt, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.Senator Bernie Sanders recently told the White House that he is ready to use Budget mediation is called reconciliation, and it only requires a Democratic vote to pass a broad economic recovery plan. This caused severe warnings from Republicans who had shut down the ranks. Oppose the Democratic Party’s COVID-19 relief bill.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said that both parties support ambitious steps in infrastructure. She said, but “this shouldn’t be extended to a trillion-dollar package, which should be bundled with other ideologically driven, cookie-cutter policies that are closely related to our states and our communities.”

Capito will help the Senate formulate bipartisan legislation.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told The Associated Press that he foresees a comprehensive House plan that will go beyond roads, bridges and public transportation.

He also expects the company to raise funds for water supply systems, broadband and power grids to solve the problem of weak infrastructure exposed after a severe blackout in Texas.

He is not yet ready to talk about total costs. De Fazio of Oregon said it will be up to the Biden administration and the House Ways and Means Committee to decide how to pay.

DeFazio said that GM’s recently announced goal is to achieve large-scale electrification by 2035. Proved that a large amount of expenditure is required at charging stations across the country. Biden has proposed a plan to install 500,000 charging stations by the end of 2030.

De Fazio said: “If Republicans are willing to recognize climate change, I am fully willing to work with them, or if they do not want to recognize climate change, they can recognize that electric semi-electric vehicles and electric vehicles are flooded, and we must One step ahead.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer expressed similar views, urging strong actions on carbon emissions and vehicle charging stations to help achieve a “full transition to electricity.” She also hopes that states will receive more federal funding for infrastructure maintenance after natural disasters and extreme weather occur.

Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland said in a Senate hearing that with the governor’s bipartisan support, they have eased traffic congestion, reduced red tape, used private sector investment and ensured that projects can Better defend against cyber attacks and natural disasters.

The new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Democratic Senator Tom Caper of Delaware, said his goal is to get his committee to pass an infrastructure bill before Memorial Day.

In the House of Representatives, Rep. Sam Graves, the top Republican on the Transportation Committee, said that as long as Republicans do not significantly increase their national debt, they will be open to larger packages.

But many lawmakers oppose increasing the federal gasoline tax, which is a way to help pay for expenses, while groups such as the Chamber of Commerce oppose increasing taxes on companies during the pandemic.

Cedric Richmond, a former White House aide to Congress from Louisiana, told state transportation officials that the president intends to pay most of the expenses, rather than increase debt. To some extent, this will be by reversing some of the Trump administration’s tax cuts.

Ed Mortimer, vice chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the cancellation of last year’s Infrastructure Act to renovate schools and low-income homes could lower prices because the House of Representatives passed hundreds of billions of dollars in COVID relief measures. Reduction and exemption measures. U.S. dollars used for these purposes.

“Affordable housing, school building, very successful, but we are not sure whether this will be the focus of a bill,” Mortimer said.


Yen reports from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

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