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Ocasio-Cortez eyeing $10T over 10 years for infrastructure

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) discusses the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act
Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) late Wednesday called President Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure package “encouraging,” but said the U.S. could need as much as $10 trillion over 10 years to invest in infrastructure and boost jobs and other priorities across the country. 

“The vision that President Biden and the administration has laid out … has surprised a lot of us in a positive way and in the detail and the thought that’s here, the scope of it, is really encouraging,” Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

However, the progressive lawmaker added that she has “serious concerns that it’s not enough,” calling for officials to “go way higher.”

Ocasio-Cortez said that the U.S. could “realistically” need $10 trillion over 10 years to “create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country, that can shore up our health care, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon emissions.”

“I know that may by an eye-popping figure for some people, but we need to understand that we are in a devastating economic moment. Millions of people in the United States are unemployed. We have a truly crippled health care system and a planetary crisis on our hands, and we’re the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So we can do $10 trillion,” she told Maddow. 

The New York lawmaker pointed out that Biden’s plan provides $40 billion in funding for public housing across the country, noting that the New York City public housing system alone would need that amount to get homes up to housing codes to provide heat, hot water and other essential utilities.

“So for us to actually invest in national public housing infrastructure, we need to do way more in order for us to deliver on this promise in terms of a price tag there,” she said.

Biden earlier Wednesday outlined his plan to make what he called aggressive investments in repairing U.S. infrastructure and to address climate change. The plan includes funding for transportation infrastructure, modern infrastructure like broadband and updating buildings and more.

The plan will cost $2.25 trillion over an eight-year span. The White House is proposing to pay for the initiative by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Infrastructure Joe Biden Rachel Maddow

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