The president of the United States, Joe Biden, will propose on Wednesday to invest some 2 billion dollars in infrastructure with the aim of generating jobs and launching a plan that he wants to become the emblem of his administration.
The first phase of the “Build Back Better” program, which he will present in a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will detail those investments planned for eight years.
The plan includes allocating 620,000 million dollars to the transport sector to modernize more than 32,000 km of roads and highways.
Biden, considered by his predecessor Donald Trump as lacking in strong ideas and guidelines, wants this plan to be one of the marks of his term, which began on January 20.
The president “thinks his role is to offer a bold perspective on how we can invest in our country, our communities, our workers,” said his spokesperson, Jen Psaki.
Investments would be particularly financed by an increase in corporate tax, which would go from 21% to 28%.
According to the White House, after that increase, the rate would remain at its lowest level since World War II; Except for the years when Trump’s tax reform, approved in 2017, was in force.
The new legislative offensive comes shortly after Congress approved a $ 1.9 trillion plan to repair the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the economy.
This Wednesday’s speech will be the starting point of a battle in Congress that is predicted as harsh as it is uncertain.
The Democratic majority is very tight and tough negotiations are expected.
The next few months will test the negotiating skills of Biden, a former senator called the “Old Lion” of politics by Barack Obama, of whom he was vice president in his two terms.
– “Urgency to act” –
“The president wants to clearly show that he has a plan and that he is open to discussion,” said a senior White House official.
“But it will not make commitments under the urgency to act” and the need to be ambitious to “reimagine” a “new American economy,” he added.
The plan considers expanding “the revolution of electric cars” with, for example, the switch to electric buses of 20% of those destined for school transport.
It also considers building infrastructures that are more resistant to the evolutions linked to climate change.
Repairing or building roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports is an idea that speaks volumes to Americans in general, since much of the country’s infrastructure dates back to the 1950s and its deterioration is unquestionable.
But beyond the hackneyed phrase “Democrats and Republicans can agree on this issue,” reaching consensus will not be easy.
Trump and Obama, the two predecessors of Biden, also said similar phrases about possible agreements and made big promises in this area, which ended up being a dead letter.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who will be at the forefront of the plan, believes that this time the stars will get aligned.
“We have an extraordinary opportunity to win the support of the two parties to think big and to show boldness in infrastructure,” Buttigieg said.
“It is not necessary to explain to Americans that we must work on infrastructure and the reality is that the climate dimension cannot be separated” from this challenge, he said.
i / gr / gm / lda