WH Issuing State Infrastructure Reports04/12 06:09
The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion
infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show
the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3
trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns
that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing
The figures in the state summaries, obtained by The Associated Press, paint
a decidedly bleak outlook for the world's largest economy after years of
repairs being deferred and delayed. They suggest that too much infrastructure
is unsafe for vehicles at any speed, while highlighting the costs of extreme
weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as
dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Republican
and Democratic lawmakers and can use the state summaries to show that his plan
would help meet the needs of their constituents.
Drawn from an array of private and public data, the reports show there are
7,300 miles (11,748 kilometers) of highway in Michigan alone that are in poor
condition. Damaged streets in North Carolina impose an average yearly cost of
$500 on motorists. Iowa has 4,571 bridges in need of repair. There is a roughly
4-in-10 chance that a public transit vehicle in Indiana might be ready for the
scrap yard. Pennsylvania's schools are short $1.4 billion for maintenance and
The administration is banking that the data will confirm the everyday
experiences of Americans as they bump over potholes, get trapped in traffic
jams and wait for buses that almost never correspond to published schedules.
There is already a receptive audience to the sales pitch, and the strategy is
that public support can overcome any congressional misgivings.
"We don't have a lot of work to do to persuade the American people that U.S.
infrastructure needs major improvement," Transportation Secretary Pete
Buttigieg said on Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday" ahead of the reports'
release. "The American people already know it."
Republican lawmakers have been quick to reject the infrastructure proposal
from Biden. They say just a fraction of the spending goes to traditional
infrastructure, as $400 billion would expand Medicaid support for caregivers
and substantial portions would fund electric vehicle charging stations and
address the racial injustice of highways that were built in ways that destroyed
The reports give some data to back up their argument that more money should
be spent on roads and bridges. Biden's plan would modernize 20,000 miles
(32,187 kilometers) worth of roadways, but California by itself has 14,220
miles (22,885 kilometers) of highway in poor condition.
Republican lawmakers also object to funding the package by increasing the
corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax, among
other tax changes including stepped-up IRS enforcement being proposed by the
"This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive
tax increase on small-business job creators," Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said
on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "I can't think of a worse thing to do."
Yet the state-by-state reports make clear that many of the people Wicker
represents could benefit from the package, an aspect of the Biden effort to
engender the backing of voters across party lines.
Wicker was among four Republicans on the White House guest list for Biden's
Monday meeting, along with Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Reps. Garret Graves
of Louisiana and Don Young of Alaska. Democrats on the list were Sens. Maria
Cantwell of Washington and Alex Padilla of California and Reps. Donald Payne
Jr. of New Jersey and David Price of North Carolina.
Mississippi needs $4.8 billion for drinking water and $289 million for
schools. Nearly a quarter of households lack an internet subscription, and a
similar percentage lives in areas without broadband. Mississippians who use
public transportation have to devote an extra 87.7% of their time to commuting.