President Joe Biden will on Wednesday unveil a transportation-focused plan of initiatives to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, as part of his broader long-term economic program, the president of the United Steelworkers said.
The announcement in Pittsburgh will focus on efforts to rebuild American roads, bridges, waterways and dams over the next decade, according to Tom Conway, the USW president, who said he has discussed the matter with the administration.
The president will be presenting two “equally” critical components of his program in coming weeks, with investments in childcare, healthcare, education, and other proposals to bolster middle-class America to be laid out in April, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
Key to the transport component coming on Wednesday will be to focus on longer-term projects — giving companies the confidence to know they can invest, Conway said in a phone interview.
“It’s going to take that sort of long-term investment, and the alternative to not doing it is going to be far more costly in the long run than if we do,” Conway said. He added that the labor union is on board with what Biden will announce.
“The country’s infrastructure has been crumbling for years and we know it needs investment,” he said. “This ought to be a bipartisan initiative because the infrastructure supplies everybody, regardless of party.”
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Conway said that the administration is looking to spend $3 trillion overall on the long-term economic program, but that he expects Wednesday’s announcement on transportation will only be half of that number or maybe even less. Further infrastructure elements, like retro-fitting schools, will come later, he said.
— With assistance by Nancy Cook
(Updates with context starting in third paragraph.)