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WH Issuing State Infrastructure Reports04/12 06:09

   The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion 
infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show 
the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 
trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns 
that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing 
affordability.

   The figures in the state summaries, obtained by The Associated Press, paint 
a decidedly bleak outlook for the world's largest economy after years of 
repairs being deferred and delayed. They suggest that too much infrastructure 
is unsafe for vehicles at any speed, while highlighting the costs of extreme 
weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as 
dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.

   President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Republican 
and Democratic lawmakers and can use the state summaries to show that his plan 
would help meet the needs of their constituents.

   Drawn from an array of private and public data, the reports show there are 
7,300 miles (11,748 kilometers) of highway in Michigan alone that are in poor 
condition. Damaged streets in North Carolina impose an average yearly cost of 
$500 on motorists. Iowa has 4,571 bridges in need of repair. There is a roughly 
4-in-10 chance that a public transit vehicle in Indiana might be ready for the 
scrap yard. Pennsylvania's schools are short $1.4 billion for maintenance and 
upgrades.

   The administration is banking that the data will confirm the everyday 
experiences of Americans as they bump over potholes, get trapped in traffic 
jams and wait for buses that almost never correspond to published schedules. 
There is already a receptive audience to the sales pitch, and the strategy is 
that public support can overcome any congressional misgivings.

   "We don't have a lot of work to do to persuade the American people that U.S. 
infrastructure needs major improvement," Transportation Secretary Pete 
Buttigieg said on Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday" ahead of the reports' 
release. "The American people already know it."

   Republican lawmakers have been quick to reject the infrastructure proposal 
from Biden. They say just a fraction of the spending goes to traditional 
infrastructure, as $400 billion would expand Medicaid support for caregivers 
and substantial portions would fund electric vehicle charging stations and 
address the racial injustice of highways that were built in ways that destroyed 
Black neighborhoods.

   The reports give some data to back up their argument that more money should 
be spent on roads and bridges. Biden's plan would modernize 20,000 miles 
(32,187 kilometers) worth of roadways, but California by itself has 14,220 
miles (22,885 kilometers) of highway in poor condition.

   Republican lawmakers also object to funding the package by increasing the 
corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax, among 
other tax changes including stepped-up IRS enforcement being proposed by the 
Biden administration.

   "This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive 
tax increase on small-business job creators," Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said 
on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "I can't think of a worse thing to do."

   Yet the state-by-state reports make clear that many of the people Wicker 
represents could benefit from the package, an aspect of the Biden effort to 
engender the backing of voters across party lines.

   Wicker was among four Republicans on the White House guest list for Biden's 
Monday meeting, along with Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Reps. Garret Graves 
of Louisiana and Don Young of Alaska. Democrats on the list were Sens. Maria 
Cantwell of Washington and Alex Padilla of California and Reps. Donald Payne 
Jr. of New Jersey and David Price of North Carolina.

   Mississippi needs $4.8 billion for drinking water and $289 million for 
schools. Nearly a quarter of households lack an internet subscription, and a 
similar percentage lives in areas without broadband. Mississippians who use 
public transportation have to devote an extra 87.7% of their time to commuting.

 
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