Nov 8 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden and top officials in his Cabinet are hitting the road to promote the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed in Congress last week, to explain when and where Americans can expect to see some of the funds in their own communities.
White House aides are planning a bipartisan signing ceremony for the infrastructure bill as soon as this week, after it gained final passage on Friday night when Democrats who control the House of Representatives ended months of bickering and approved it.
Biden heads to the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, on Wednesday to promote the bill. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was to take questions at the White House daily news briefing on Monday about the bill.
Buttigieg and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are fanning out across the country as well.
“In the coming weeks, those members and other senior officials will travel to red states, blue states, big cities, small towns, rural areas, tribal communities, and more to translate what this deal means for real people across the country,” a White House source said.
A Democratic National Committee source told Reuters the party will unveil a new slogan based on the bill: “Democrats delivered.”
The bill sends tens of billions of dollars to federal agencies and states for bridge and highway repair, new broadband and public transportation projects, and will fund a network of electronic vehicle charging stations across the country.
It gives Biden and Democrats a much-needed jolt of good news after poll numbers have fallen for the president. Republicans made gains in local elections last week, winning the governor’s office in Virginia and coming closer than expected in heavily Democratic New Jersey.
The White House victory lap will include messages on African American and Spanish-language media and partnering with labor unions, business groups nod state and local leaders.
“We’ll also tap into the White House and cabinet agencies’digital reach – breaking down this legislation into easy-to-understand explainers, videos, and other content,” the White House source said.
The DNC source said that while the infrastructure bill is an important milestone, Democrats need to pass Biden’s $1.75 trillion social safety and climate spending plan next.
“Voters have a short memory. They have already forgotten the Cares Act. They will forget a bridge that was built or a highway that was repaired, but they will remember the monthly child tax credit payment. It is necessary that we pass that,” the source said.
Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Heather Timmons and David Gregorio
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