A Democrat from West Virginia commended the GOP’s $568 billion alternative infrastructure plan and wants to help Republicans make it happen.
Sen. Joe Manchin congratulated the Republican Party on announcing a five-year infrastructure package that offers much more competitive pricing than President Joe Biden’s mega $2.3 trillion plan.
“It is a good start, it really is,” he said in a video shared on YouTube.
The GOP is focusing on “traditional infrastructure” projects and broadband access to help avoid raising taxes. The package will be fully funded through user fees on electric vehicles, unspent federal funds, and even contributions from state and local governments.
Manchin believes this is the beginning of a new bipartisan deal on infrastructure.
“I am glad they did it because it came out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on which Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is the chairman and my colleague Sen. Shelley Capito (R-W. Va.) is basically the ranking member,” he said. “They have worked it [out] together, so we know it has bipartisan support.”
Biden had touted spending $650 billion on roads, rail, and transport. He also wanted to invest $174 billion in electric vehicles.
However, Capito and fellow Republicans propose spending just $299 billion on roads and bridges, $65 billion on broadband, $61 billion on public transit systems, $44 billion on airports, and $35 billion on water and wastewater.
According to Reuters, she also promises $20 billion for rail, $17 billion for ports and inland waterways, $14 billion for water storage, and $13 billion for transport and pipeline safety.
The Republican Roadmap is promised to:
- cover the cost of the infrastructure bills and avoid increasing national debt
- shore up an infrastructure-related trust fund that otherwise faces a revenue shortfall
- preserve the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including extending the cap on the state and local tax
deductions and prevent corporate or international tax hikes.
“Our infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, expanded, and brought into the 21st Century with a forward-leaning vision,” the roadmap said. “Congress and the Biden administration must reach a bipartisan agreement that will improve the infrastructure in all states and communities, while achieving important national goals. This framework is meant to serve as a guide as we continue to develop bipartisan bills that will move by regular order.”
Manchin expects negotiations to continue across both sides of the aisle until an overwhelming majority of senators finally support the package.
“We just have to look to see if we have gotten everything in there that we need, and we will be working on that together,” he said. “I am very pleased with that and this is the way we start negotiations.”
The Democrat hopes to put party politics aside and cooperate more with the GOP on ideas in the national interest.
“They put their best foot forward but it is a starting point, it is not the finishing line,” he said.
Republicans recently befriended Ohio State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D), who openly supported giving Donald Trump another four years in the Oval Office.
Kennedy Kent previously revealed she still thinks highly of the former president’s respect for peace and justice and his tireless work to help more African Americans live the “American dream.”
“Following a lifetime as an educator and child advocate, I have admired President Trump’s dedication to law and order, and his respect for our Constitution,” she said in a statement. “His strong leadership and willingness to fight for educational and economic empowerment for minorities has brought unprecedented hope to the American people. President Trump has provided a record number of Black Americans with a real shot at the American dream.”