Infrastructure week continues
President Biden announced a huge bipartisan infrastructure deal on Thursday, then spent the next four days trying to assure progressive Democrats he will also fight hard to pass a more sweeping package while assuring moderate Republicans and Democrats he is totally committed to the bipartisan package and would sign it if it arrived at his desk. On Tuesday, Biden will host members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus at the White House to shore up support for the package on the left, then travel to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to begin his road show to sell the infrastructure package to the public.
Biden outlined his pitch Monday night in an op-ed at Yahoo News.
The infrastructure deal is big and historic, "the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure in nearly a century," Biden wrote in his op-ed. It will create "millions of jobs for years go come," and nearly 90 percent of that work "won't require a college degree." The package is "a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America," and while it's "missing some critical initiatives on climate change that I proposed — initiatives I intend to pass in the reconciliation bill," he added, a lot of those jobs will be in green energy.
"Economists of all stripes agree that it would create good jobs and dramatically strengthen our economy in the long run," Biden said. "But the deal also represents much more. It is a signal to ourselves, and to the world, that American democracy can work and deliver for the people." Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a lead negotiators of the bipartisan deal, made a similar case Monday about proving to the world that American democracy can work, and he underscored that Republicans successfully stripped out Biden's proposed tax increases on the rich and corporations.
"Approval of both bills by Congress remains a long haul with this summer's initial votes expected in July," The Associated Press reports, and there are plenty of things that could still derail the deal — Democrats are watching Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's actions warily. "There is plenty of work ahead to finish the job," Biden acknowledged. "There will be disagreements to resolve and more compromise to be forged. But this is a deal the American people can be proud of."