cloudy.png
Monday June 21st, 2021 11:44AM

Pelosi pledges swift work on major infrastructure package

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday pledged swift work by Congress on a job and infrastructure package that will be “fiscally sound,” but said she isn't sure whether the next major item on President Joe Biden’s agenda will attract Republican backing.

Fresh off a major legislative victory on the $1.9 trillion virus relief package that passed on near-party lines, Democrats face long and tough battles ahead in winning GOP endorsement of the administration's plans.

Road- and bridge-building legislation has a long history of support from both parties as lawmakers aim to deliver on projects back home. But Republicans disagree with Biden’s focus on the environment and the possibility of financing any program with debt after the government borrowed heavily to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Building roads and bridges and water supply systems and the rest has always been bipartisan, always been bipartisan, except when they oppose it with a Democratic president, as they did under President Obama, and we had to shrink the package,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

“But, nonetheless, hopefully, we will have bipartisanship,” she said.

Pelosi has directed key Democratic lawmakers to begin working with Republicans on a “big, bold and transformational infrastructure package.”

During the presidential campaign, Biden laid the groundwork by proposing $2 trillion in “accelerated” investments to shift to cleaner energy, build half a million charging stations for electric vehicles, support public transit and repair roads and bridges. The plan emphasizes the importance of creating unionized jobs and addressing climate change.

The White House originally planned to come out with a plan in February, but more recently hasn’t committed to a timeline. A rollout is likely to slide into April as the administration embarks on a nationwide push over the coming weeks to sell Americans on the benefits of the COVID-19 relief bill.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, hope to pass a bill out of their committees in May.

The package could include policy changes — on green energy and immigration — and even try to make permanent some of the just-passed COVID-19 assistance such as child tax credits.

“It is going to be green and it is going to be big,” DeFazio told The Associated Press.

Democrats used a fast-track budget process known as reconciliation to approve Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan without Republican support, a strategy that succeeded despite the reservations of some moderates.

But work on passing infrastructure legislation in a Senate split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris providing a tiebreaking vote will probably prove more difficult. Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., recently made clear he will block infrastructure legislation if Republicans aren't included.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said he wants to see bipartisan support for an infrastructure legislation. But he said the House in the last Congress refused to embrace a $287 billion bill unanimously passed by a Senate committee and changed it in a way that Republicans could not accept.

“What did the House do? They replaced our highway bill with the Green New Deal,” Barrasso said. “So they ignored what we have done in a bipartisan way. If they would take the model that we came up with in the committee in the Senate for highway and transportation, I think that’s a very good start. I talked with the secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg, about it, and I think that is the model on which we should move forward on transportation and infrastructure.”

On Sunday, Pelosi declined to say whether tax increases would be required for the House legislation, stressing that Congress would explore all options, including generating revenue with something similar to the Obama administration’s Build America bonds.

Cost will be a major hurdle in passing an infrastructure plan. There’s little political interest in increasing the 18.3-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, which generates revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, even though the rate has not increased since 1993. Biden promised during the campaign he would not increase taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year.

“This is about broadband. It’s about water systems. It’s about mass transit, it’s about good paying jobs all over the country,” she said. “It’s also about schools and housing and the rest. ... So the goal is to promote good growth, creating good-paying jobs as we protect our planet and are fiscally sound.”

Pelosi and Barrasso spoke on ABC's “This Week.”

___

Associated Press writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pelosi pledges swift work on major infrastructure package
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pledging swift work by Congress on a job and infrastructure package that she says will be “fiscally sound."
1:18PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Brazil wonders about whereabouts of vaccine mascot
Rumors and conspiracy theories swirled this week regarding the whereabouts of Zé Gotinha, the mascot for Brazil's national vaccination program
1:17PM ( 12 minutes ago )
London police under pressure over clashes at women's protest
London’s Metropolitan Police force is under heavy pressure to explain the way officers treated some protesters during a vigil for a woman whom one of the same force's officers is accused of murdering
1:10PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Democrats bank on relief aid to win back wary working class
When President Franklin D
9:33AM ( 3 hours ago )
China, North Korea loom as Blinken, Austin head to Asia
Threats from China and North Korea will loom large over the Biden administration’s first Cabinet-level trip abroad
8:51AM ( 4 hours ago )
With Cuomo under fire, No. 2 Kathy Hochul treads carefully
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is known as a loyal promoter of the Cuomo administration’s agenda and tireless campaigner for races at every level
8:08AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Hondurans to vote in primaries amid corruption allegations
At a time when Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández’s name keeps popping up in the New York trial of an alleged drug trafficker, one of the candidates running to replace Hernández in Sunday’s primary elections was convicted in the same court of laundering money for the same cartel
12:03AM ( 12 hours ago )
Critics call Sen. Ron Johnson's insurrection comments racist
Critics of Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson are calling him racist after he told an interviewer that he wasn’t worried about the supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol in January, but might have been concerned if they had been Black Lives Matter protesters
2:44PM ( 21 hours ago )
How Cuomo investigation, possible impeachment could play out
Gov_ Andrew Cuomo has urged New Yorkers to “wait for the facts.”
1:39PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Mexico's last island penal colony may now host cruise ships
Cruise ships may soon be visiting Mexico's former Isla Marias penal colony, after the last island penal colony in the Americas was closed and turned into an environmental education center in 2019
12:40PM ( 50 minutes ago )
The Latest: Paris may face new lockdown as ICUs fill up
Officials say the Paris region may be headed toward a new lockdown as new variants of the virus fill up intensive care units and limited vaccine supplies drag down inoculation efforts
11:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
Dutch police break up anti-govt protest on eve of election
Dutch police have used a water cannon and officers on horseback to break up a protest against the government and its tough coronavirus lockdown
11:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Brazil wonders about whereabouts of vaccine mascot
Rumors and conspiracy theories swirled this week regarding the whereabouts of Zé Gotinha, the mascot for Brazil's national vaccination program
1:17PM ( 12 minutes ago )
London police under pressure over clashes at women's protest
London’s Metropolitan Police force is under heavy pressure to explain the way officers treated some protesters during a vigil for a woman whom one of the same force's officers is accused of murdering
1:10PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Exit polls: Defeats for Merkel's party in 2 German states
Exit polls are pointing to defeats for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party in two German state elections
1:07PM ( 22 minutes ago )
US female firefighters fight discrimination with lawsuits
Two women in North Carolina have joined a growing number of U.S. female firefighters who are filing lawsuits alleging discrimination
1:05PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Mexico's last island penal colony may now host cruise ships
Cruise ships may soon be visiting Mexico's former Isla Marias penal colony, after the last island penal colony in the Americas was closed and turned into an environmental education center in 2019
12:40PM ( 50 minutes ago )