Joe Biden to Promote Infrastructure With McConnell in Kentucky

Iris Tao
By Iris Tao
January 3, 2023Politics
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President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will make a rare joint appearance in Kentucky on Jan. 4 to highlight the president’s $1.2 trillion spending plan, the White House announced on Jan. 1.

Joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, and Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, the two are to appear at a ceremony highlighting the $1.64 billion in funding recently awarded to the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project. The federal grant is part of a more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law by Biden in 2021.

To kick off the new year, @POTUS@VP@SecretaryPete@MitchLandrieu46 will crisscross the country to highlight how the President’s work bringing Republicans, Independents, and Democrats together is growing our economy,” White House Deputy Communications Director Herbie Ziskend said via Twitter.

Biden’s bipartisanship blitz will come a day after Republicans retake a majority in the House on Jan. 3 following Republican gains in the November midterm elections. While the shift in control complicates the president’s legislative agenda, Biden and his team are also seeking cross-party support.

McConnell, of Kentucky, was among the Republicans who voted for the 2021 infrastructure law, even as many House Republicans opposed it, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). McConnell said the project “will be one of the bill’s crowning accomplishments.”

The long-awaited project, connecting Ohio and Kentucky across the Ohio River, includes a new bridge and rehabilitation of a heavily congested 60-year-old span constructed in the 1960s, carrying both Interstate 75 and Interstate 71 traffic through the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region. Officials say the bridge has seen doubled traffic loads on its narrow lanes since the beginning, leading the Federal Highway Administration to declare it functionally obsolete.

DeWine said both states have been discussing the project for almost two decades, “and now, we can finally move beyond the talk and get to work.”

Groundbreaking on the project is expected in late 2023, with substantial completion in 2029.

Former President Donald Trump criticized McConnell in a statement after Biden’s spending bill passed, blaming the Republican leader for failing to pass his infrastructure bill while Trump was in office and Republicans led both the Senate and House.

McConnell doubled down on his support of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

“The infrastructure bill did not raise taxes. It did not revisit the 2017 tax bill. From a Kentucky point of view, it was extremely good for our state. I’m proud of my vote,” he said.

Nationwide

Biden’s visit to Greater Cincinnati is part of a wider campaign by his administration to tout its economic plan, including passing the 2021 bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

In Chicago on Jan. 4, Vice President Kamala Harris will discuss “how the President’s economic plan is rebuilding our infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs—jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, and revitalizing communities left behind,” the White House stated.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is to deliver the same message in New London, Connecticut, also on Jan. 4.

Mitch Landrieu, the White House official tasked with promoting infrastructure spending, will join outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Jan. 5 in San Francisco, which she represents in Congress.

Before the president departed Washington for vacation at the end of last year, Biden appealed for less partisanship, saying that he hoped everyone will see each other “not as Democrats or Republicans, not as members of ‘Team Red’ or ‘Team Blue,’ but as who we really are, fellow Americans.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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