Biden travels to Detroit to promote infrastructure bill and its impact on Michigan economy Biden travels to GM plant in Detroit to promote infrastructure bill

President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday afternoon at a General Motors plant in Detroit to promote Monday passage of the bipartite law on infrastructure. The legislation is a $ 1 trillion package that will invest in U.S. infrastructure for the first time since many of the nation’s major bridges and highways were created.

Biden delivered a speech at GM most recent Factory ZERO plant in Detroit near Hamtramck. The plant will exclusively produce GM’s line of electric vehicles. Biden’s remarks follow GM’s release of their new all-electric Hummer, which he’s testing drove before delivering the speech.

Bill will make major investments in transit, bridges, roads, highways and clean energy like Biden moves to make the US automobile fleet electric. Legislation Introduces Plans That Will Give All Americans Access to Broadband the Internet, as well as investing in the construction of pipes for drinking water – two major promises of the 2020 Democratic election campaign.

Senator Gary Peters, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Representative Debbie Dingell – all Democrats from Michigan – and other representatives from districts neighboring Metro Detroit were in attendance.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was not at the event because she had previously scheduled a meeting with leaders in the semiconductor industry, according to a White House statement. In the statement, Whitmer praised Biden for passing the legislation that would result in “the thousands of well-paying blue collar jobs that will result from this historic investment in our state‘s infrastructure.” She also expressed her commitment to maintaining Michigan as the “auto capital of the world”.

Biden praised Michigan lawmakers for their help in passing the bill and for understanding issues important to Michigan families.

“It’s not hyperbole to say that this delegation is laser focused on your needs and the needs of the people of Michigan, your concerns,” Biden said. “The kind of conversations that take place around your kitchen table. Conversations as deep as they are ordinary. “How am I going to get to work on time if I-75 is flooded again?” “” How can I be sure that my job and the car factory will still be there in a few years? “

A significant part of the bill increases the capacity of the United States for electric vehicles by significantly increasing the number of charging stations available to drivers. Biden said the bill plans to link this step to creating more union jobs in the United States.

“We are going to put IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) members and other union members to work to install a nationwide network of charging stations along our roads and highways in our communities,” Biden said. . “Look, we’re going to make sure the jobs of the future end up here in Michigan, not halfway around the world. “

During the event, Peters said he sees electric vehicles as “the future of American automobile manufacturing”.

“What we have seen today is how mobility will transform the society of the 21st century – just like the last century, ”said Peters. “The electric vehicles that will be built from Factory ZERO will be very advanced and will completely change the way we travel. The bipartisan infrastructure law will consolidate Michigan’s leadership in innovation by making electric vehicles more accessible and building charging stations across the country.

One of the main goals of the event was Biden’s belief in well-paying, unionized jobs. He explained how the transit maintenance projects included in the bill will create jobs in Michigan while modernizing America’s infrastructure.

“Here in Michigan, (we’re replacing) nearly a fifth of transit vehicles that are past their useful life,” Biden said. “It means jobs for the people doing the upgrades, well paying union jobs, jobs you can raise a family on, jobs you can’t outsource. “

Biden referred to parts of the bill that may not always have been considered “traditional“Infrastructure needs. These included projects to eliminate PFAS and drinking water issues and to expand WiFi. access for American families.

“There is an additional $ 10 billion nationwide to phase out the hazardous chemical PFAS,” Biden said. “This law will make high speed internet affordable and available all over America. 14% of Michigan households do not have an Internet subscription, or nearly 400,000 people in the state. In many places there is no broadband infrastructure.

Biden also spoke about how the bill strengthens the United States’ defense against extreme weather events, such as the 2020 California forest fires or extreme flooding that took place last summer in Michigan.

“Here in Michigan you know the cost of extreme weather conditions, you remember the flooding this summer that shut down parts of I-75 and I-95, power outages and warnings tornado, ”Biden said. “Last year, the extreme weather conditions Cost the United States of America $ 99 billion. Of hurricanes in Louisiana to 20 inches of rain in the northeast, to fires in the west that literally consumed more land than the entire state of New Jersey.

This bill was a key campaign promise of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign to help the country “build back better,” something he discussed in his remarks.

“This law will help rebuild the backbone of this nation,” Biden said. “Rebuilding the economy from the bottom up and the middle out is my way of seeing the world. It is a blue collar plan to rebuild America that leaves no one behind.

Biden also addressed concerns about how the bill will be paid because, saying that big business and high net worth individuals should pay their fair share of taxes.

“Look, I’m a capitalist – if you’re able to make a million or a billion dollars, that’s good for everyone except paying your fair share,” Biden said. “Last year, 55 of America’s largest corporations did not pay a single dime in federal tax. They made $ 40 billion. I want them to make money, that’s good, but pay a little. That’s how we pay it, for real.

Journalist for the daily Christian Juliano can be contacted at [email protected]