Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Beat” that the latest $928 billion infrastructure offer from a group of Senate Republicans was “a good sign” in the negotiations on President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion plan.
Buttigieg said, “We met the urgency of confronting COVID with the rescue plan. Now, we got to meet the urgency of preparing the American economy to succeed for the next many decades with the American Jobs Plan and generational investment in the infrastructure we count on from the tradition of stuff like roads and bridges to newer things like the internet, access for everybody, to the internet and making sure that we have the right kind of care economy. So, as we continue this back and forth, and I will say, it’s been very above-board, very positive, even though we have clearly started out in different places. I believe that the conversation needs to continue to focus on what really is blowing up my phone which is, people around the country talking about their immediate infrastructure needs.”
He added, “Their latest proposal gets to the neighborhood of a trillion dollars. That’s a good sign. There is a lot of — obviously, a lot depends on the details, and there’s still some daylight between where we have come in and what the Republicans came forward with this morning. But what it shows me is the idea that we need to make a major, major investment on the order of a trillion dollars plus. 1.7 is what we are calling for in our latest plan. That’s a general principle we can agree on. Now, we are concerned there are a lot of things we think weren’t in the counteroffer that really needs to be there. There are a lot of steps we need to take on everything take on everything from climate to modernizing veterans’ hospitals that we strongly believe ought to be part of the package we put together. But this is the season of sausage making. It’s going to continue to be this back and forth with lots of conversations, with lots of members of Congress. What I will say is that, you know, unlike some of the moments we have had in our political life. Recently, this conversation has, in my experience, continued to be focused. It’s been transparent. Sometimes, there are big differences, but it’s been a very honest conversation, too.”
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