Sen. Joe Manchin calls for up to $4 trillion in infrastructure spending as Democrats are poised to control Congress
- Democratic Sen.
Joe Manchinsaid lawmakers should support trillions in infrastructurespending on the eve of Biden's inauguration.
- "The most important thing? Do infrastructure," Manchin told Inside West Virginia
Politics, a news program.
- Biden has introduced a $2 trillion plan to renew the nation's infrastructure and said recently he would unveil a detailed proposal next month.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia called for up to $4 trillion in infrastructure spending over the weekend as
"The most important thing? Do infrastructure. Spend $2, $3, $4 trillion over a 10-year period on infrastructure," he told Inside West Virginia Politics, a news program. "A lot of people have lost their jobs and those jobs aren't coming back. They need a place to work."
Manchin will likely wield large influence in a Senate which will be evenly divided between 50 Democrats and 50
Last year, Biden introduced a $2 trillion plan to invest into clean energy and infrastructure. It includes provisions to expand public transportation, universal broadband, and boosted research and development spending for renewable sources of energy.
The president-elect emphasized the need to renew the nation's infrastructure and said he would lay out a more detailed plan next month
"It's time to stop talking about infrastructure and finally start building it," he said in a Thursday evening address on the economy. "Millions of good-paying jobs that put Americans to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, and ports to make them more climate resilient, to make it faster, cheaper, and cleaner to transport American-made goods across our country and around the world."
However, many economists are calling for lawmakers to take advantage of the low cost of borrowing to finance pandemic-related aid programs and reduce the suffering caused by the pandemic.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the outgoing chair of the Senate Finance Committee, blasted the rescue plan as a "laundry list of liberal structural economic reforms" on Tuesday during a confirmation hearing for Janet Yellen, Biden's pick for treasury secretary.
One of the rescue plan's main components include a $1,400 boost to
Manchin also suggested in the Inside West Virginia Politics interview he could still support $2,000 stimulus checks, though he wants to distribute them in a more targeted way.
The West Virginia Democrat expressed skepticism about the boosted federal payments in an interview with The Washington Post earlier this month. He said they should be provided only to people in desperate need of government aid.
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