WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden wants $2 trillion to reengineer America’s infrastructure and expects the nation’s corporations to pay for it. The president travels to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to unveil what would be a hard-hatted transformation of the U.S. economy as grand in scale as the New Deal or Great Society programs that shaped the 20th century.
White House officials say the spending over eight years would generate millions of new jobs as the country shifts away from fossil fuels and combats the perils of climate change. It is also an effort to compete against China’s technology and public investments, the world’s second-largest economy, and fast gaining on the United States’ dominant position.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the plan is “about making an investment in America – not just modernizing our roads or railways or bridges but building an infrastructure of the future.”
Biden’s choice of Pittsburgh for unveiling the plan carries essential economic and political resonance. He not only won Pittsburgh and its surrounding county to help secure the presidency, but he launched his campaign there in 2019. The city famed for steel mills that powered America’s industrial rise has steadily pivoted toward technology and health care, drawing in college graduates from western Pennsylvania in a sign of how economies can change.
Higher corporate taxes would finance the Democratic president’s infrastructure projects. This trade-off could lead to fierce resistance from the business community and thwart any attempts to work with Republican lawmakers. Biden hopes to pass an infrastructure plan by summer, which could rely solely on the slim Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate.
The White House says the most significant chunk of the proposal includes $621 billion for roads, bridges, public transit, electric vehicle charging stations, and other transportation infrastructure. The spending would push the country away from internal combustion engines that the auto industry views as an increasingly antiquated technology.