WASHINGTON — Going big for jobs and the environment is the goal of an infrastructure bill that has a price tag of $2.3 trillion, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“Whether we are talking about bridges or road and highways, ports and airports, rail and transit we know that there is a demonstrated need in this country to do a lot to go big and that’s what this plan does,” Buttigieg told MSNBC.
Buttigieg also called the bill an opportunity to “break the old false choice of climate vs. jobs.”
“This is job creation through good infrastructure investments that are also going to be good for the climate,” Buttigieg added. “Transportation is the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gas in the economy.”
The bill would raise corporate tax rates and would also remove tax breaks for oil companies. President Biden also assured that individuals and families making less than $400,000 would not be taxed to pay for the plan. Biden also insisted that this was not aimed at punishing the wealthy.
It would invest billions in upgrading the nation’s roads and bridges and includes a plan to start putting more of a focus on rolling out and maintaining electric cars. It would also inject more than funding into improving drinking-water infrastructure, expanding broadband access, and upgrading electric grids.
“This package must be targeted towards roads and bridges, and not used as a vehicle for irrelevant liberal policies that raise taxes on America’s job creators and their families,” said Sen. Mike Braun in response to the bill. “President Biden’s refusal to work with Republicans, yet again, reaffirms the Democrat’s ‘my way of the highway’ approach towards running Washington.”
“Look the president laid out a clear vision and a big vision,” said Buttigieg. “But, is open to hearing ideas from every corner of our party and the other party to if they have good ideas to bring to the table.”
Indiana Congressman Jim Banks (R) calls the bill “the Green New Deal + $3 trillion in tax hikes.” Congressman Andre Carson (D) is supportive of the plan saying “it will create good jobs, address long-standing inequalities, improve schools, help America transition to a clean energy economy.”