ATLANTA — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured a massive underground airport tunnel project and downtown East Point as he travels the country touting President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan.
The plan doesn’t just include money to repair the country’s roads and bridges. It also has billions of dollars for internet broadband, airports and mass transit along with things like clean energy and affordable community care for the elderly.
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Georgia Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff joined Buttigieg on parts of the tour, as did Rep. Nikema Williams. Buttigieg went 50 feet underground to take a look at how the project to extend the airport’s Plane Train is proceeding nearly six months after it started. Construction officials said the extension will make the train more efficient and quicker for passengers.
While in East Point, Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham showed Buttigieg the new mixed-use development going on around the MARTA station there.
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“What we see is a sense of imagination,” Buttigieg commented later outside East Point City Hall. “We see a sense of vision. We see a commitment to inclusion like the vision to make sure transit-oriented development that we see out here is affordable.”
Congressional Republicans remain skeptical of the proposed plans, as negotiations continue over how much it will cover and how much it will cost.
“Pete Buttigieg and the rest of the Biden Administration are jet -setting across the country to try and distract from their own policy failures,” Republican National Committee Spokesperson Savannah Viar said in a statement. “Between rising inflation, a horrendous jobs report and a gas shortage, Biden’s plan to ‘build back better’ is certainly not what most people would consider ‘better.’”
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The American Jobs Plan also includes nearly $100 billion for broadband expansion, particularly into rural parts of the country.
“This isn’t just a stimulus plan designed to get us through this year,” said Buttigieg. “This is about making sure that when we’re looking back in the 2040s on what we did in the early 2020′s, we say, okay, this is how we set up Americans’ future, one community at a time.”