President Joe Biden appeals for bi-partisan support of ‘American Jobs Plan’ in Louisiana
Both Republicans and Democrats agree infrastructure spending is necessary
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - President Joe Biden visited Lake Charles and New Orleans Thursday, trying to gain support for his “American Jobs Plan.
Part of the plan includes a $2 trillion infrastructure package that has met some resistance across the aisle.
“Across the country we have failed, we have failed to properly invest infrastructure for half a century,” President Biden said during his speech in Lake Charles.
This visit, the first on the President’s tour, FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman says shows the benefits of having Cedric Richmond as Senior Advisor to the President.
“There’s no better place to talk crumbling infrastructure than New Orleans,” Sherman said.
The spending package takes a modernized look at infrastructure.
“This infrastructure bill is not just about roads, bridges, and tunnels, but about trying to find equity through strategic spending and infrastructure, so to him it means a lot more, including affordable housing and health care,” Sherman said.
“One of the things that this crisis, in terms of the health crisis, that COVID has shown us is that we have to build back better in a whole series of ways,” Biden said.
Part of that is diverting billions to improve drinking water infrastructure.
Biden toured the Carrollton Water Plant alongside Mayor LaToya Cantrell and heard from officials how the system could fail, cutting off access to drinking water.
With a system that averages around 100 years old, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board could benefit if the proposal becomes law.
However, Republicans see a majority of the bill as a waste of taxpayer money.
“The ‘American Bankruptcy Plan’ is what we’re calling it,” Savannah Viar, the Southeast Regional Communications Director for the RNC said. “Only 7-percent of this proposed bill actually goes towards what Americans traditional view of infrastructure is.”
Speaking of taxes, the plan is proposed to be funded in part by increasing corporate tax rates that were lowered in the 2017 Trump tax cuts.
“We see the traditional Democratic and Republican fault lines about how we pay for it, particularly in increasing capital gains and increasing income taxed on the highest income tax brackets,” Sherman said.
“If you increase taxes, the jobs will go away,” Viar said adding that the RNC estimates the plan will cost Americans about $850,000 for every job created.
The Southeast Region of the RNC also calling the focus on clean energy and green jobs a ‘tragedy’ for oil and gas workers.
GOP lawmakers have come up with their own infrastructure bill coming in at just $568 billion.
:I like our plan better,” Senator Bill Cassidy said after his meeting with the President. “Twice as much money for roads and bridges and only costs about a quarter as much. Hopeful we get to common ground.”
Sherman calls Cassidy a key deal maker when it comes to taking a bipartisan approach.
“What’s pretty incredible is that both sides are agreed to spend over half a trillion dollars on infrastructure,” Sherman said. “That’s big news and that’s a starting point for a compromise.”
As far as the visit to New Orleans goes, Mayor Cantrell released this statement:
“I was honored to welcome President Biden to New Orleans today and to host him on his tour of the S&WB plant in Carrollton. It presented a priceless opportunity to speak with him directly about our critical infrastructure needs, specifically, power for our pumping system, and a wholesale modernization of our drainage capacity. The American Jobs Plan is a beacon of hope, and a critical step on our City’s road to recovery.”
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