President Biden came to Howell, Michigan on Oct. 5 where he toured the facilities at Operating Engineers 324 training center and delivered a speech calling for support of his trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“I want to talk about what’s fundamentally at stake for our country now, at this moment,” Biden said, addressing the issue of America’s failing infrastructure.
Biden highlights the United States advancements in traditional and human infrastructure and emphasized the issue of America’s slowing progress when it comes to investments in infrastructure.
“The world has taken notice, by the way, including our adversaries. And now they’re closing the gap in a big way,” Biden warns.
Biden announced his two pieces of legislation, one to invest in traditional infrastructure and the other to invest in human infrastructure.
The first bill, which focuses on traditional infrastructure, would include rebuilding roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports, and broadband.
Shifting focus, the second bill focuses more on human infrastructure which would include expanding child tax credits, universal preschool and free community college, and action against climate change.
“To support these bills is to pursue a broader vision of our nation,” Biden said. “And to oppose them is to accept a very cramped view of our future.”
These bills offer drastic changes for everyday Americans, something that Michiganders can take note of.
In 2018, the state received an overall grade of D+ from an evaluation conducted by the White House. Overall, the evaluation found that there are 1,219 bridges and over 7,300 miles of highway in poor condition. They also estimate that these poor conditions increase a Michigander’s commute time by 4.6%.
Furthermore, Michigan’s childcare was found to be subpar in the report. The report estimates that schools would have to spend approximately $1.29 billion dollars for maintenance and improvements in schools.
It also estimates that around 44% of Michigan residents live in child care deserts—in which 50 children under 5 do not have child care providers or there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care providers.
The two bills were approved by the Senate but have reached a stalemate in the House of Representatives as of Oct. 9.
Biden’s infrastructure bill has caused a bit of discourse among both party sides and Biden’s arrival in Michigan was met with some protests.
Protestors lined up on the road outside the training facility. There, many held up signs, stating their disagreement with Biden’s infrastructure bills.
Their main argument against the Build Back Better Agenda?
“Too much spending” and “It’s going to raise the deficit” are commonly heard in the crowd of protestors.
These points don’t go unnoticed as Biden addresses these issues in his speech.
“It’s all paid for, and they don’t increase the debt because they’re paid for by asking the very wealthy to begin their part...pay their fair share,” Biden said.
Further debate is needed but its approval could mean that Michigan could see $7.3 billion in funds allocated for highway repairs and over $500 million for bridge work on top of other infrastructure investments for the state.
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