Politics

Pete Buttigieg says Pittsburgh is prime example of why US needs Biden’s $2.3 billion infrastructure plan

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg took to the water in an effort to gain support for the administration’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

Buttigieg returned to Pittsburgh, where the plan was first announced by President Joe Biden in March, to get an up-close look at some of the nation’s aging bridges, locks and dams. Pennsylvania has the second-most structurally deficient bridges in the United States, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Some of the older bridges have to be draped with nets designed to capture pieces of concrete that could plummet to the sidewalk. 

“We’re relying on infrastructure from the last century,” Buttigieg told ABC News’ Transportation Correspondent Gio Benitez as they traveled by boat down the Ohio River. If only one of Pittsburgh’s more than 400 bridges fails, local officials say it would shut down the entire port.

“The impact on jobs, the impact on economic well-being, not to mention just things like the impact on traffic, could be enormous,” Buttigieg warned about a potential failure. And it’s not just Pittsburgh that has bridges in “a state of disrepair,” the secretary said. “The same is true across the entire country.” The infrastructure plan, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, includes $621 billion in updates to modernize roads, rails, ports, airports, mass transit and highways, as well as $45 billion to eliminate all lead pipes. 

The plan includes $400 billion for community-based care for elderly Americans, a $180 billion investment in clean energy and $100 billion to build out high-speed broadband across the country, paid for in part by increasing the corporate tax rate — lowered under former President Donald Trump — from 21% up to 28%. The administration says the plan would create millions of jobs, citing independent analysts.

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POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: YDR

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