Biden: Passage Of The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
President Biden spoke about Friday night’s passage of the Infrastructure Deal in Congress.
Biden was Monday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:
“Folks, yesterday — I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest that we took a monumental step forward as a nation.
We learned that our economy created 5.6 million jobs since we took office on January 20th, reached an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent — two full years earlier than the vast majority of economists projected that would happen. And we’re just — we’re just getting started.
We did something that’s long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington but never actually been done.
The House of Representatives passed an Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. That’s a fancy way of saying a bipartisan infrastructure bill — a once-in-a-generation investment that’s going to create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure — our roads, our bridges, our broadband, a whole range of things — to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity. And it puts us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with China and other large countries and the rest of the world.
It’s going to create more jobs –- good-paying jobs, union jobs that can’t be outsourced –- and they’re going to transform our transportation system with the most significant investments in passenger rail — the most significant investment in 50 years; in roads and bridges — the most significant investment in 70 years; and more investment in public transit than we’ve ever, ever made. Period.
It’s going to modernize our ports and our airports — and I’m going to be going to some of our ports next week — and to freight rail, increasing that as a re- — I mean, look, we have a — we have bottlenecks across the country. We’re doing so much with this legislation.
It’s going to make it easier for companies to get goods to market more quickly and reduce supply chains’ bottlenecks and now — and now and for decades to come.
You know, and according to the economists, this is going to be — ease inflationary pressure — not increase it, ease inflationary pressures by lowering costs for working families.
It’s going to create jobs replacing lead and — lead water pipes so every American, every child can drink clean water, improving their health and putting plumbers and pipefitters to work. How long have we been talking about that? It’s a gigantic issue.
Jobs making high-speed Internet affordable and available everywhere in America. And you heard me say this before, and I apologize for repeating myself, but no parent should have to sit in a parking lot of a fast food restaurant so their child can do their homework because they have no Internet connection except to go off of what’s going on at — with — with that Internet connect from the fast food restaurant.
It’s going to make significant, historic strides to take on the climate crisis. Some of you were with me when I was recently in Scotland at the COP26. What did people keep asking me? “Are you going to fund this? Are you going to fund it? Are you really going to do what you’re saying? Are you…” Well, this will go steps — get to along — a big step along the way of doing it.
We’re going to build out the first-ever national network of charging stations all across the country — over 500,000 of them — so that you can make real au- – and, you know, auto companies made a commitment they were going to make 50 percent of vehicles electric by 2030.
So, you’ll be able to go across the whole darn country, from East Coast to West Coast, just like you’d stop at a gas station now. These charging stations will be available.
It will get America off the sidelines on manufacturing — manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, battery storage, energy and power for electric vehicles from school buses to automobiles.
And it will reward companies for paying good wages and for getting materials for their products from right from here in America and America exporting and providing the rest of the world with these technologies that are generated here in the United States as we go green around the world.
It also makes historic investments in environmental clean-up and remediation. It builds up our resil- — our resilience against superstorms and droughts and wildfires, hurricanes. You know, you’ve heard me say it — again, I apologize for repeating myself — but $99 billion in losses last year because of climate crises. In America — $99 billion it costs the taxpayers of America. It represents a blinking red code out there for our nation.
Vice President Harris and I look forward to having a formal signing ceremony for this bipartisan infrastructure soon. Because — but everybody is not — I’m not doing it this weekend because I want people who worked so hard to get this done — Democrats and Republicans — to be here when we sign it.
But we’re looking more forward to having shovels in the ground to begin rebuilding America.
And for all of you at home who feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s changing so rapidly, this bill is for you.
The vast majority of the thousands of jobs that will be created don’t require a college degree. They’ll be jobs in every part of the country –- red states, blue states, cities, small towns, rural communities, Tribal communities.
This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America. And it’s long overdue.
I’m also proud that the House took a big step toward — forward to pass my Build Better — my Build Back Better Act, which for the week of November 15th, they’re going to be taking up. They went through the procedural mechanisms to assure that occurs.
Let me be clear: We will pass this in the House, and we’ll pass it in the Senate.
The Build Back Better Act will be a once-in-a-generation investment in our people — getting America back to work by reducing the costs of childcare and eldercare and getting millions of women back on the job who have to stay home because they cannot afford the childcare or the healthcare for their parents; providing universal pre-K for every three- and four-year-old child in America and increasing their academic achievement potential significantly — significantly; making healthcare more affordable; lowering prescription drugs costs; and tax cuts for working people and the middle class so that folks have just a little — as my — I know you’re tired of hearing me saying — my dad used to always say, as a middle-class guy, “We just need a little breathing room — a little breathing room.”
It’s going to reduce child poverty in this country, by the way, by 50 percent. We’re already on track to do that with the Child Tax Credit we passed in our last piece of legislation.
And this bill is fiscally responsible. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s fully paid for.
It doesn’t raise the deficit by a single penny. And it actually reduces the deficit, according to leading economists in this country, over the long-term. And it’s paid for by making sure that the wealthiest Americans, the biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share.
Again, you’ve heard me say it a hundred times: Why should 40 — 55 corporations who made over $40 billion in the last couple years — why should they pay zero in taxes? I said I’m a capitalist, I’m not a socialist. But the bottom line is everybody should pay their fair share. Zero in taxes? Come on.
And so — and keep my campaign commitment: It does not raise a single penny in tax for anyone making less than $400,000 a year. Say it again: Folks, no matter what they tell you, you’re going to find out this will not affect your taxes one little bit in having to pay a penny more if you make less than $400,000 a year.
Independent experts have concluded that these bills are the highest value investments that we can make to grow the economy.
It’s going to create millions of jobs, increase productivity and wages, and reduce cost, and generate significant and historic economic growth.
Again, the press is here — the poor people who have to follow me all the time, they’ve heard me say this a lot: We got, out of the blue, a couple week ago, a letter from 17 Nobel Prize winners in economics. And they determined that it will ease inflationary pressures — not create them, ease them — ease those pressures.
And for the economy, it recognizes that we — we face an inflection point. For most of the 20th century, we led the world by a significant margin because we invested in our people. We invested in ourselves.
You’ve heard me say it a thousand times: Jill would say — my wife says, “Any — any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us.” We invested in education. We invested in health. We invested in things that affect people’s opportunities to succeed.
We built an Interstate Highway System, which led to the best roads, bridges, airports, and transit systems in the world.
These are the arteries of commerce that have moved goods from coast to coast quickly; that’s why people decide to build facilities here in the United States. We empowered our companies to outcompete the world. And we created jobs and untold opportunities for our people to travel, to live, and to work.
But somewhere along the way, we stopped investing in ourselves. We stopped investing in our people. And we’ve risked losing our edge as a nation. I don’t even think it was conscious, but that’s just what’s happened. And China and the rest of the world are moving to catch up and, in some cases, in certain areas, move ahead.
Our infrastructure used to be rated the best in the world.
Today — today, according to the World Economic Forum, we rank 13th in the world. The United States of America ranks 13th in the world in infrastructure. Come on.
We used to lead the world in educational achievement.
Now the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — the OECD — ranks America 35th out of 37 major companies when it comes to investing in early education for childhood education and care. Think about that.
Those you who are parents know: You start kids early. You give them the basics. You give them the material to be able to go on.
It’s simply unacceptable that we rank 35.
We’re now turning it around in a big way. Any single element of this plan would be a fundamental change in America, but taken together they’re truly consequential.
Again, I have — I’ll have more to say this — about this soon. But when we have the bill singing, I’ll be able to thank everyone in the Senate and the House for their leadership. I hesitate to start now; I’ll leave somebody out and I want to make sure everyone who was a part of this gets credit for it.
But, for now, I want to quickly thank members of the House who worked so hard to get some of this done: Speaker Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, progressive leaders, moderate leaders, Democrats, Republicans — they, in fact, worked together.
It was like — as I saw — someone told me on my staff this morning that on one of the programs this morning they said, “Well, we finally — the sausage is made.” You know — well, you know, it is a process. You all know it. You’re all pros. You cover it.
The American people have made clear one overwhelming thing, I think — and I really mean it — all the talk about the elections and what do they mean and everything: They want us to deliver. They want us to deliver. Democrats, they want us to deliver.
Last night, we proved we can. On one big item, we delivered.
I want to close with this: For much too long, working people in the middle class of this country have been dealt out of the promise of America. That sounds like hyperbole, but I really mean it.
Some of you may remember, when I ran, I was legitimately — I mean, it’s appropriate to be criticized. I don’t mean — I’m not complaining about being criticized. But when I said I was running for three reasons: one, to restore the soul of America, bring back some decency and honor in the way in which we dealt with one another.
The second reason was to rebuild the backbone of the country: the middle class. The — the wealthy are value added to the country, but they didn’t build the country. Hardworking middle-class folks are the ones that built this country. They’re the ones that built — the middle class — they’re the ones that built the backbone of the country.
And what I decided to do was I said we have to begin to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out. Well, folks, that hadn’t been the case. I’m so tired about trickle-down economic theory that I’m trickled out.
The idea that — and I asked the rhetorical question: When the middle class has done well, when have the wealthy have — never have — when during any time have the wealthy not done extremely well as well?
I mean, come on. We got to give working folks a real chance — a chance.
And so, folks, there’s an awful lot more to say about this. But today, I think, is a — it’s just been a good day. You know, it’s time to deal folks back in.
You know, as you’ve heard me say it again — I make no apologies for it: These bills — these bills, in fact, are — the two bills we’re talking about — Build Back and — the Build Back Better bill, which we’re going to be working on now, and this bill are all designed to give ordinary people a fighting chance to begin to sort of level the playing field just a little bit, not punish anybody.
I’ve long said it’s never ever been a good bet to bet against the American people. Never.
And that — what it really means is: Bet on the American people. Give them a shot. Give them a shot. That’s what these plans do. They bet on average Americans. They believe in America. They believe in the limitless capacity of the American people.
If you look at the history of the journey of this nation, what becomes crystal clear — not a joke: Given half a chance, the American people have never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever let their country down.
We’re about giving them a full chance this time. And when we do, there’s going to be no stopping us.
I truly believe that 50 years from now, folks are going to look back and say, “This was the moment, this was the period, this year and the next couple years, when America decided to win the competition of the 21st century, to get in the game full bore.”
So, my message to all the American folks is: Let’s get to work. Let’s get this done.
God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.”
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.