Vice President Joe Biden hailed the $380 million renovation of the St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds as a "metaphor for America never resting" during a speech at the iconic landmark Tuesday.
The vice president slammed congressional Republicans "who say we can't afford these kinds of investments."
Biden noted that Republican President Abraham Lincoln had supported building the transcontinental railroad, and argued federal infrastructure spending would lead to economic gains across the country.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx appeared at the daily White House press briefing on Monday to argue that unless lawmakers reauthorize funding for the highway trust fund, some 700,000 jobs could be at stake. And on Wednesday, President Obama will appear at the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York for an event on infrastructure.
"This is about getting something done that has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, which is passing legislation that invests substantially in rebuilding our roads and bridges across the country and thereby putting people to work right away and investing in our economic foundation, in our future by enhancing our transportation networks," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
Following his appearance in St. Louis, the vice president is headed to Illinois for a pair of closed-press fundraisers benefitting Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, attendees paid between $1,000 and $35,000 to attend the fundraisers. The events include a reception in Alton, Ill., followed by a dinner at the home of mesothelioma attorney John Simmons.
Republicans used the vice president's Gateway appearance to promote an infrastructure project of their own — the Keystone XL pipeline.
“If Vice President Joe Biden is looking for a shovel-ready project, we’d suggest that he and the Democrat Party green light the Keystone XL pipeline," said Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox. "There’s no better place for Mr. Biden to come out in support of Keystone than at the Gateway Arch, because this project would create good paying jobs for Americans who reside west of the Mississippi.”