WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.
The figures in the state summaries paint a decidedly bleak outlook for the world’s largest economy after years of repairs being deferred and delayed. They suggest that too much infrastructure is unsafe for vehicles at any speed, while highlighting the costs of extreme weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Republican and Democratic lawmakers and can use the state summaries to show that his plan would help meet the needs of their constituents.
Most states received a letter grade on their infrastructure. North Dakota earned a C. The highest grade went to Utah, which notched a C-plus. The lowest grade, D-minus, went to the territory of Puerto Rico.
The administration is banking that the data will confirm the everyday experiences of Americans as they bump over potholes, get trapped in traffic jams and wait for buses that almost never correspond to published schedules. There is already a receptive audience to the sales pitch, and the strategy is that public support can overcome any congressional misgivings.
How does North Dakota fare in the report? The Biden administration outlines numerous infrastructure needs for the state. “Infrastructure,” according to the Biden administration’s definition, is fairly expansive, covering things such as housing assistance, caregiving, child care, home energy, clean energy and veterans’ health, in addition to the traditional infrastructure needs for roads, bridges, public transportation and water.
The Biden report says there are 444 bridges and 830 miles of highway in poor condition. Biden’s plan would provide billions to help repair bridges and highways.
Money would also be devoted to improving the drinking water infrastructure and expanding broadband Internet access into rural areas.
There are no specific amount listed for the state, just estimates of total spending for each infrastructure need across the nation.
You can read what the Biden administration has identified as North Dakota needs here.
You can read what Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” is proposing here.
Republican lawmakers object to funding the package by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax, among other tax changes including stepped-up IRS enforcement being proposed by the Biden administration.
“This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive tax increase on small-business job creators,” Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I can’t think of a worse thing to do.”