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Cassidy says bipartisan infrastructure proposal would benefit Louisiana in myriad ways

Cassidy is a lead negotiator for a group of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:03 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The condition of some roads, bridges and water systems has many Louisianans already aware that infrastructure needs an upgrade and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, says a bipartisan compromise infrastructure package he helped to craft would be good for the state.

“We have a lot of pent-up demand in Louisiana, we could speak about the Calcasieu River Bridge, the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge, “six-lane-ing” the I-12, I-49 North, I-49 South, an east-west corridor through central Louisiana, so all those could be potentially addressed,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy is one of five Republicans and five Democrats who put together the $1 trillion dollar proposal.

“We’ve agreed upon a framework that will modernize our infrastructure and also introduce energy technologies that I think will be incredibly important for Louisiana,” said Cassidy.

He says Louisiana’s oil and gas sector would benefit from the proposal.

“Importantly, the energy section would build upon our core competency, so think of the pipefitter, the pipefitter could be making or helping to build pipelines that would take carbon dioxide from a refinery and sequester the carbon beneath the ground; it lowers the carbon intensity,” said Cassidy.

He says funding in the proposed infrastructure package provides billions for resiliency projects.

“It could help restore our coastline,” said Cassidy. “Would invest in an energy economy in a way that benefits states like Louisiana, which has almost $50 billion for resiliency which benefits the person whose home would otherwise be threatened.”

Republicans are opposed to raising taxes to pay for new infrastructure, so Cassidy says some unspent federal COVID-19 relief dollars could come into play.

President Joe Biden originally proposed a $2.3 trillion dollar infrastructure package, but Republicans balked at that, calling the plan bloated with non-infrastructure items. The Biden administration subsequently lowered the price tag to about $1.7 trillion. And some Democrats in Congress do not want Biden to settle for a deal that guts his infrastructure and jobs-creation vision.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, discussed that on CNN this week.

“I’ve heard him say with the Republicans in the room, let’s figure out what we can agree on, on infrastructure. Let’s see if we can come to a reasonable amount of money to get that work done, but I have no intention of abandoning the rest of my vision about the better, building back better,” said Pelosi.

Support from other Republicans and Democrats in Congress would be needed to get the bipartisan package approved.

“If we say here, we have something in which every American has a chance to benefit then hopefully that will sell it to folks whether they are Democrat or a Republican,” said Cassidy.

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