Buttigieg: Infrastructure bill ‘a national priority’

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joined together Tuesday on Capitol Hill, delivering a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda by approving a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

The Senate voted 61 to 30 in favor of the bipartisan package that would provide nearly $550 billion in new spending over five years for roads, bridges, broadband internet, and public works systems.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that the bill included about $9 billion in immediate spending in Ohio.

While it’s a win for the Biden administration, Buttigieg said it’s supported by business and labor, mayors and governors.

“From roads and bridges to some of the newer stuff like internet access and good broadband, this is a national priority and you don’t have to have a D or an R next to your name to see we’ve got to do it,” Buttigieg said.

While the progressive agenda looms over the bill in the House, the transportation secretary remains confident.

“We think it will succeed in the House for the same reason it succeeded in the Senate,” Buttigieg said. “Again, you have an extraordinary coalition. Look, this was a bipartisan deal, a compromise, which means, by definition, nobody got everything that they wanted.”

Progressive Democrats said the bill does not go far enough because it does not include funding for so-called “social infrastructure” – things like housing and child care.

Catch more of Buttigieg’s interview with Colleen Marshall this Sunday on The Spectrum.

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