The US president tried on Friday to move past stumbling blocks on his economic agenda and voting rights by highlighting progress made in implementing his $1 trillion infrastructure package.
Sixty days after the infrastructure package was signed into law in November, the Transportation Department is launching a $27 billion program to repair and upgrade some 15,000 bridges. Under the five-year program, the federal government will provide nearly $5.5 billion this fiscal year to states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and Indian tribes.
“When we invest in infrastructure, we are really investing in opportunity,” said President Joe Biden. “These are investments that will build a better America. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s real.”
The president is trying to regain an upbeat mood after his administration endured a difficult week. His economic and voting rights agenda is stalled in the Senate, while the Supreme Court halted his order of mandatory vaccinations or negative diagnostic test results for companies with more than 100 employees.
Biden says he is determined to show that the construction related to the infrastructure package will improve the lives of citizens.
“There’s a lot to talk about how we’ve been let down by the things we haven’t accomplished, but I’m telling you we’re going to do a lot of them,” he said. “But this is something that we achieved and that is of enormous importance for the country.”
Before Biden’s words, the White House issued a detail of how the government is preparing to distribute the funds. There are plans to build 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles and the Department of Transport has announced that it will invest some 56,000 million dollars in the modernization of highways, airports and seaports.
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to spend $7.4 billion to upgrade drinking water and sewage systems. There are also plans to expand broadband internet, among other initiatives.