Lawmakers promise improved infrastructure as many cities face weather-related damage

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Cities across the country continue to buckle under failing infrastructure as extreme weather continues to erode highways, powerlines, and more.

“Anyone ever believe you’d turn on the news and it’s 115 degrees in Portland, Oregon?” asked President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Last week, President Biden and a group of bipartisan senators presented an infrastructure framework that would create jobs, invest in rural and urban communities, and combat the climate crisis.

“This deal will put American workers to work in good-paying  jobs: not minimum wage jobs, not $15 an hour jobs — a living wage jobs,” says Biden. 

A White House official spoke to KTSM 9 News on background and said that Texas needs about 270,000 lead service lines and pipes that need to be replaced. 

 “It’s a generational investment — a generational investment — to modernize our infrastructure,” says Biden.

The proposal aims to fix physical deficits in infrastructure like damage done to roads and highways, power lines, etc., while also taking on social challenges that block the way for many to achieve their American dream. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure framework promises to:

  • Improve healthy and sustainable modes of transportation by modernizing and expanding transit networks and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Repair and rebuild road and bridges with a focus on climate mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety
  • Build a national network of electric vehicle chargers along highways and in rural communities
  • Electrify schools and transit buses across the country to reduce damaging emissions and fuel domestic manufacturing of zero emission vehicles
  • Connect American with reliable high-speed internet
  • Upgrade power infrastructure that includes building thousands of miles of new transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy, including through a new Grid Authority
  • Invest in addressing America’s legacy of pollution through clean-up efforts that will create union jobs while also advancing environmental justice
  • Prepare more U.S. infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, cyber attacks, and extreme weather

Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains confident that social issues will continue to be included in the infrastructure package.

Republicans, however, are not keen on the liberal interpretation of “infrastructure.”

“Pass the thing we can agree on,” says Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “and then we’ll have a debate, or an argument and a vote over the rest.”

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