White House gives GOP 1 week to reach deal on infrastructure
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says time is running short for a bipartisan deal on infrastructure and that President Joe Biden will look to act without Republican support if there's no “clear direction” when Congress returns from its Memorial Day break.
Beyond bridges: Biden redefines infrastructure to add people
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON – Beyond roads and bridges, President Joe Biden is trying to redefine infrastructure not just as an investment in America the place, but in its workers, families and people. “He’s talking about physical infrastructure and we’re talking about human infrastructure,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in an interview Tuesday. The White House is taking a two-pronged approach to this next big package. Biden's approach is about “making an investment in America,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. AdAs the committees in Congress begin to tackle individual provisions — including those on transportation, China and others — the White House will encourage those efforts.
Biden wants infrastructure package approved over summer
One White House official said Monday night that it may end up being closer to $3 trillion. The administration wants to see progress on the new legislation by Memorial Day and have it passed over the summer, White House officials said. Ad“The president has a plan to fix our infrastructure and a plan to pay for it,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. As the committees in Congress begin to tackle individual provisions — including those on transportation, China and others — the White House will encourage those efforts. As part of the group of Republicans who met with Biden only to have their virus aid proposal rebuffed, Capito is now wary as Democrats pile other domestic priorities onto the infrastructure package.
Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief
Biden and his team have begun discussions on the possible outlines of an infrastructure package with members of Congress, particularly mindful that Texas' recent struggles with power outages and water shortages after a brutal winter storm present an opportunity for agreement on sustained spending on infrastructure. At a conference with state and local highway officials Thursday, he referred to the often-promised, never-achieved mega-initiative on roads, bridges and the like from the Trump administration. Much of America's infrastructure — roads, bridges, public drinking and water systems, dams, airports, mass transit systems and more — is in need of major restoration after years of underfunding, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Democrats passed a $1.5 trillion package in the House last year, but it went nowhere with the Trump administration and the Republican-led Senate. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told the AP that he foresees a comprehensive House package that will go beyond roads, bridges and public transit.
Biden hopes infrastructure can bridge partisan divide
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with lawmakers on investments in infrastructure, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Washington. Carper pledged to work on a transportation bill that will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by cars and trucks and boosting electric cars. AdInhofe later told reporters that the meeting with Biden was "very good, very good. During the presidential campaign, Biden committed to deploying $2 trillion on infrastructure and clean energy investments over four years. Ad“Mayors and other local regional leaders around the country are very much in alignment with what President Biden has talked about, especially with climate change," said Bill Fulton, director of the institute.
Biden EPA nominee vows 'sense of urgency' on climate change
(Caroline Brehman/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency pledged Wednesday to “move with a sense of urgency on climate change” and other priorities, while working with lawmakers from both parties to protect the environment. AdRegan, who has served as top environmental regulator in North Carolina since 2017, would be the first African American man to run the EPA. Regan told senators he learned the importance of preserving the outdoors while hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather in rural North Carolina. Regan told Capito he anticipates “healthy debates” on a variety of issues, adding that he reports to the president, not White House advisers. In a related development, Jennifer Granholm, Biden's nominee to be energy secretary, won approval from the Senate energy panel Wednesday.
Biden, Yellen say GOP virus aid too small, Democrats push on
From left, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined the Democratic senators for a private virtual meeting, both declaring the Republicans' $618 billion offer was too small. “President Biden spoke about the need for Congress to respond boldly and quickly,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the lunch meeting. The president made it clear that he won’t delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support. Biden proposes $170 billion for schools, compared to $20 billion in the Republican plan.
President Biden to meet Republicans proposing $618 billion virus aid
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden told Republican senators during a two-hour meeting Monday night he's unwilling to settle on an insufficient coronavirus aid package after they pitched their slimmed down $618 billion proposal that's a fraction of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking. AdRepublicans are tapping into bipartisan urgency to improve the nation's vaccine distribution and vastly expand virus testing with $160 billion in aid. Psaki said earlier Monday there is “obviously a big gap” between the $1.9 trillion package Biden has proposed and the $618 billion counteroffer. It also includes $20 billion to reopen schools compared to $170 billion in Biden's plan. The Republicans offer $40 billion for Paycheck Protection Program business aid.
Trump vetoes Calif. fishing bill over seafood trade deficit
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump vetoed a bill Friday that would have gradually ended the use of large-mesh drift gillnets deployed exclusively in federal waters off the coast of California, saying such legislation would increase reliance on imported seafood and worsen a multibillion-dollar seafood trade deficit. Trump also said in his veto message to the Senate that the legislation sponsored by Sens. But they said at least 60 other marine species — including whales, dolphins and sea lions — can also become entangled in the nets, where they are injured or die. In 2018, California passed a four-year phaseout of large-mesh drift gillnets in state waters to protect marine life. He said Americans will import more swordfish and other species from foreign sources without this fishery.
West Virginia voters laud Trump for trying to save coal
A statue of a coal miner stands in front of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison, W.Va., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Four years after Donald Trump donned a miners helmet at a West Virginia campaign rally and vowed to save a dying industry, coal has not come roaring back. Four years after Donald Trump donned a miner’s helmet at a West Virginia campaign rally and vowed to save a dying industry, coal has not come roaring back. When Trump took office in January 2017, Boone County received nearly $269,000 in quarterly coal company severance taxes. “The coal jobs did not come back as the president promised,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a rare Democrat still thriving in West Virginia.
Coal magnate Robert Murray dies; he long fought regulators
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007, file photo, Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp., speaks during an interview with an Associated Press reporter in his office at the Crandall Canyon Mine, in Huntington, Utah. Michael Shaheen, an attorney who had recently represented Murray, 80, told The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register that he died Sunday morning in St. Clairsville. Public reports recently stated Murray had applied for black lung benefits with the U.S. Department of Labor. Murray was the founder, president and CEO of the company's predecessor, Murray Energy. Murray Energy was launched in 1988.
Quickly, carefully, GOP senators consider policing changes
Sen. Rand Paul wants to stop sending surplus U.S. military equipment to local law enforcement. And GOP Sen. Mitt Romney is trying to assemble a bipartisan package of bills in response to police violence. I think we should all be optimistic right now," Scott, the only black GOP senator, told reporters at the Capitol. Lawmakers are watching as demonstrations erupt in all corners of the country, from the biggest cities to the smallest towns, and acknowledging the arrival of a mass movement for law enforcement changes as politically impossible to ignore. Obviously this is a national awakening, GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said Tuesday on CNBC.