Story at a glance:
- Republicans have a traditional idea of what an infrastructure plan should look like.
- Biden’s plan is ambitious, expanding the definition and what is covered in the plan.
- Biden proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
President Biden and allies are trying to redefine what most would consider infrastructure.
Infrastructure typically refers to the nation's foundational building blocks: its architects, engineers and urban planners. The necessary facilities, services and organizational structures for communal use must have a budget to function.
However, Biden's American Jobs Plan has some Republican lawmakers wondering why Biden would propose a $2 trillion budget that also covers rural internet access, electric vehicles and clean water pipes.
As reported by The New York Times, Biden’s definition of infrastructure is broad in an attempt to focus on technical advancement rather than just upkeep old, exclusionary systems.
It appears that Biden would make changes so that “schoolchildren are drinking clean water,” or to ensure that the country is “building high-speed rail lines and making federal buildings more energy efficient.”
Republicans like Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt went on Fox News Sunday to say that he believes the proposal is government overreach and that 30 percent of the $2 trillion budget should be enough to resolve Biden’s concerns.
“Even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some, it’s about 30 percent of the $2.25 trillion they’re talking about spending,” Blunt told Chris Wallace.
Economists agree with Biden, though notably with the idea of expanding the definition of infrastructure.
Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard University, receives funding from grants from the Transportation Department to work on his project on infrastructure for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Regardless of Biden's budget, Glaeser points out that nonconventional situations like improving the nation’s affordable housing stock and expanding access to care for older and disabled Americans have to get funding from somewhere.
The idea behind the American Jobs Plan is that it would create jobs in rural areas by enriching the area.
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