President Joe Biden spoke from Wisconsin on Tuesday to tout his proposed infrastructure plan, which his administration is anxious to get through congress.
Biden said that this plan is a “blue collar blue print to rebuild America,” which would be “built from the bottom up and the middle out, not trickle down.”
“This deal isn’t just the sum of its parts,” he said, “it’s a signal to ourselves and to the world that American democracy can come through a deliver for all our people. We can be united.”
Biden has pressed the concept of unity since his campaign, though the results of that unification have been primarily within parties, and not between them.
The bill, he said, “is living proof that we can come together in this country and accomplish something transformational.”
The plan would create jobs that “cannot be outsourced,” he said, noting that the plan would be paid for by increasing taxes on those earners who bring in over $400,000 per year.
He said that a “bipartisan group of senators got together” to forge the plan, which is a “generational investment to modernize our infrastructure.”
Biden said the new plan would give “good paying jobs” to people to repair roads, bridges, and highways. Bridges across the country need to be repaired and rebuilt, Biden said, including 1,000 of them in Wisconsin.
“The typical American pays a hidden tax, more than $1,000 a year in wasted time and fuel due to traffic congestion,” he said.
“This deal is going to put Americans back to fixing all of that, and good paying jobs,” he said. Additional infrastructure plans include replacing the nation’s lead water pipes.
“There are up to 10 million homes” with lead water pipes, he said, along with schools. Water remediation is another part of the plan, to pull chemicals from ground water.
“As climate change produces extreme weather events more and more frequently, we need to make investments to build a more resilient grid,” Biden said.
He spoke about the problems of power outages, and the electric grid, saying that “a majority of the grid is aging,” and citing climate change as a coming problem that would continue to impact the grid.
In addition to dealing with the impacts of climate change and making the electrical grid more resilient, the plan will bring broadband internet to places that don’t have it. This need, he said, was amplified by the pandemic which sent kids online to learn.
School buses, municipal buses, airports ports, and waterways will be overhauled. National environmental clean-up will also be a priority.
He complained about China’s dominance in manufacturing globally, saying that “We invested more in R&D and … manufacturing than any nation in the world, now we’re number 8 in the world. China used to be number 9, now they’re number 2 in the world!”
Biden digressed to speak again about his love of Amtrak, noting that while he was Vice President, he traveled back to Delaware at the weekends to see his dying mother. He told a story about how much he’d traveled on Amtrak, joking that the whole northeast corridor should have been named for him given the miles he’d traveled. Rail service will be expanded as well.
“Hey guys, I think it’s time to give ordinary people a tax break, the wealthy are doing fine,” he whispered to the crowd.
“There’s nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity when we come together as a nation,” he concluded.