As the White House seeks to push through Congress President Joe Biden's $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan, which Republicans have vowed to resist, it's projecting how much it will ostensibly benefit each state, writes Axios.
It's trying to get reluctant lawmakers to back the bill by publishing report cards for each of the 50 states that outline the “cost of inaction.”
The measure begins with Kentucky and California – stomping grounds of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
By doing so, it ostensibly warns other Republicans they would be called out to explain why a certain bridge or highway isn't something they can approve as they oppose the bill.
“12 percent of Kentuckians live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds,” reads a White House fact sheet, as it spells out that the American Jobs Plan “will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed and affordable coverage to every family in America.”
Furthermore, in California, “there are 1,536 bridges and over 14,220 miles of highway in poor condition. The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations' transportation infrastructure," claims another fact sheet.
White House officials want to show how the money proposed in the bill will be spent, as they grant interviews with local TV stations.
Fact sheets accompanying the report cards will be wielded by the Democratic National Committee to coordinate with state Democratic parties in touting the plan, writes Axios.
Everything ranging from virtual events to organising digital toolkits will be put to use to drum up support for the bill, according to a DNC spokesperson cited by the outlet.
The House and Senate return from recess Monday, with Democrats anxious to pass the president’s infrastructure bill or “make real progress” on it by Memorial Day – the last Monday of May.
President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Cabinet members are expected to embark on a flurry on travel destinations across the nation to sell the plan in the coming weeks, according to the outlet.
"There's lots of creative ways that I expect to see local mayors and governors and local elected officials using the information in these fact sheets, in op-eds or local media. The fact sheets will be posted on the White House’s website and may be used by outside groups, as well," White House Deputy Communications Director Kate Berner was quoted as saying.
‘Once-in-a-Generation’ Infrastructure Plan
President Biden unveiled his ambitious “once-in-a-generation” $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan known as the “American Jobs Plan” last week.
President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will ensure that the best minds in America are put to work creating the innovations of the future — while creating hundreds of thousands of quality jobs today. pic.twitter.com/U4dub36PUC— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 10, 2021
The bill proposes spending hundreds of billions on roads and bridges, internet, upgrades to buildings, care economy investments, and R&D.
However, Republican House and Senate leaders have expressed vocal opposition to the spending plans, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing the proposed bill would not get support “from our side.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy characterising the plans as a “'kitchen sink’ of wasteful progressive demands.”
Great to be on @FCPwithGreta this morning to talk about President Biden’s court-packing commission, the president’s nearly $1.6 trillion spending plan, and the potential for a bipartisan infrastructure bill. pic.twitter.com/rzK6e3KM6K— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) April 11, 2021
Senator Roy Blunt said on the Sunday talk show circuit that the GOP would be prepared to contemplate spending on roads, bridges, ports, airports, underground water systems, and broadband, but would not approve the other 70 percent of the president’s $2.3 trillion spending agenda.
Republicans have armed themselves with their own preemptive memo from the Senate GOP Conference, attacking the bill, that reads:
"Described as both a “jobs” plan and an “infrastructure” plan, the proposal undermines both."
It slams Biden’s “Partisan, Job-Crushing Slush Fund” as spending “just 5 percent of the total $2.7 trillion on roads and bridges."
"I'm going to fight them every step of the way because I think this is the wrong prescription for America," McConnell said about the infrastructure plan at a news conference in Kentucky.