Saturday, October 1, 2022

Democrats sell infrastructure bill, insist on Biden’s support

STEELWELL, Kansas (AP) – Movement sweeps behind her as Rep. Sharis Davids gathered reporters at a transportation facility along US 69 in eastern Kansas this week to celebrate the surge of federal money towards her state.

A massive infrastructure package passed last week means $ 2.6 billion for Kansas’s roads – one of the largest investments since President Dwight D. Eisenhower, once a Kansasian himself, backed the construction of 1950s.

“I think many of us recognize, as did President Eisenhower, that infrastructure is the key to long-term economic growth,” said Davids, who proudly proclaimed herself a “reborn transportation enthusiast.”

WATCH: Energy Sec. Granholm on How Infrastructure Bill Will Reduce Inflation and Supply Challenges

Davids is far from the only member of her holiday. With their tight control of Congress at stake in 2022, Democrats across the country are donning helmets and photo shoots near bridges to highlight long-forgotten public works projects that are being brought to life thanks to a plan worth over $ 1 trillion.

It is an attempt to overcome the last months of the struggle between the progressive and the moderate and rally around a ready-to-go approach to accelerating the post-coronavirus pandemic economy.

For Democrats like Davids, facing a tough re-election battle, a public works bonanza could be their ticket out of political danger – a potential boon for moderate and independent voters who opposed the party in elections last week in New Jersey and Virginia and which will determine the races. in most staggering counties next year.

“It’s time to turn the corner,” said New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the Congressional Democratic Committee. “You can blame enough, but we have achieved a huge victory for workers and the middle class.”

Among those blaming Maloney for the current climate is President Joe Biden, who Maloney said has failed to properly advance what has already been achieved.

“I think my colleagues on Capitol Hill are desperate to follow the president, but we need him to lead and he needs to use the unusual voice he has,” Maloney said, recalling how Biden drew his roots from Pennsylvania’s working class is on its way to win this state and become president last year. “We want Scranton Joe to explain this work plan for the growth of the American economy and we will follow.”

The White House says Biden will aggressively sell his party’s legislative achievements. On Wednesday, the president went to the port of Baltimore to advertise the package, although he admitted that it would not help quickly ease rising inflation or supply chain problems affecting the economy. he said. …

Maloney said he wanted more. He urged Biden to use a nationwide televised message to support the measure, as well as 25 country tours for himself and an equal number of visits for Vice President Kamala Harris to promote popular public works projects he will fund. Maloney also wants House Democrats to organize over 1,000 events of their own to do the same, with the support of the $ 10 million Democratic National Committee to clarify the plan to the public.

The goal is not only to detail the package, but to use it as a club for Republicans in Congress – all but 13 voted against. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says it plans to “weaponize” the infrastructure plan – praising it and attacking Republicans, who will face their own re-election scuffles next year for opposing it.

Infrastructure spending garnered widespread support from two parties in polls, but House Republicans argued that the bill set Democratic priorities beyond repairing roads and bridges.

However, former President Donald Trump appears to have acknowledged the Democrats’ political potential this week when he blamed the backing Republicans for voting “Democratic Longevity.” Many of them faced harsh criticism from voters; Michigan State spokesman Fred Upton said he and his family received death threats.

The Democrats report the opposite reaction at home. In New Jersey, Congressman Josh Gottheimer said he got a five when he walked into a diner on Monday.
Gottheimer, who became the main target of the GOP next year, spearheaded efforts by House moderators to get the infrastructure bill passed, even as his progressive counterparts pushed for immediate action on a separate, larger social spending plan dubbed “Build Back Better.” … Now he is nudging colleagues to push forward things that may be relevant to voters – expanding a tunnel known as the Gateway, a commuter rail line under the Hudson River that links his state to New York, or repairing state roads.

“You really have to explain this to people. It cannot be a number. It should be about how it affects their lives, ”he said. He added with a laugh, “If you talk to someone from Jersey, you get tire insurance because you always get flat tires from potholes.”

Rep. Jennifer Wexton, Virginia, said the legislation “would be huge” for her voters’ “daily commute and daily life”, noting that the package could help further expand subway train traffic in her western suburbs. Washington. It could also strengthen internet services in areas where families sometimes had to travel to libraries to access broadband despite being only 50 miles (80 km) from the capital.

Republican Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governorship last week, and his party could take control of the House of State, depending on the results of two races, apparently aimed at recounts. Yangkin’s Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, was in vain to urge Democrats to move faster to pass the infrastructure bill.

“I don’t know it would have been done,” Vexton said about whether this changed the results. “Obviously, it wouldn’t be ideal if it hadn’t passed.”

At home on vacation, vulnerable Democrats are now focusing on local projects that can mean improved quality of life and jobs. In Michigan, Democrat Elissa Slotkin, along with unionists this week, praised the plan, noting that $ 1.3 billion could be used to replace pipes in the state where communities are fighting lead in tap water.

Even when they sell the bill, some Democrats are still focused on the next priority. They want approval for an even bigger $ 1.85 trillion Biden measure that is meant to skyrocket federal spending on social programs, childcare and climate change mitigation – but has yet to be approved by Congress.

It was part of Congressman Cindy Axn’s message to proponents of renewable fuels at an ethanol plant in western Iowa this week. The Democratic Congresswoman secured funding for renewable fuels, a major industry in her district, in a second spending package.

“If we don’t support the human infrastructure that really drives this country, we don’t support the infrastructure,” she said.

In Minnesota, Rep. Angie Craig, a Democrat representing swinging suburbs outside the sister cities, characterized the infrastructure plan as a plan for job creation and government projects. But she, like Axne, noted that Biden’s broader proposal could attract more voters.

“There is so much about Build Back Better that people will actually feel in their daily lives,” Craig said. “Build Back Better will change the way people can function in their daily lives, and that is just as important as infrastructure.”

Nation World News Desk
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