Mississippi Republicans speak out against Biden’s infrastructure plan

Updated: Apr. 4, 2021 at 2:25 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) -- President Joe Biden unveiled his massive infrastructure and jobs plan last week, which could provide much-needed help to the Mid-South.

But two top Republicans in Mississippi are speaking out against the president’s plan.

Biden says it’s time to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, from crumbling roads and bridges to the aging electric grid.

He proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan and wants to raise corporate taxes to pay for it.

More: Billions needed to improve crumbling infrastructure across Mid-South, experts say

“It’s big, yes. It’s bold, yes, and we can get it done,” said Biden. “It’s not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the Interstate Highway System and the Space Race decades ago.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave Mississippi a “D-” on its infrastructure.

It says about 9% of bridges in the state are structurally deficient.

It found Mississippi roads in urban areas were twice as likely to be in poor condition than the national average.

For instance, 44 percent of roads in DeSoto County are either poor or mediocre, according to the ASCE.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves agrees infrastructure is the government’s responsibility.

“There’s no doubt that Mississippi, like virtually every other state, could use federal support. Infrastructure is a core function of government,” said Reeves.

But Mississippi’s top Republicans say the president’s plan will hurt more than it helps.

“It looks more like the Green New Deal than it looks like an infrastructure plan,” said Reeves.

“What the president proposed this week is not an infrastructure bill. It’s a huge tax increase,” said Mississippi Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker.

Wicker said the plan will increase taxes not just on corporations but small businesses.

Biden says taxes won’t increase for families who make less than $400,000.

The Biden administration is pledging to work with Republicans.

“We’ve got a great proposal for how we can do this that is responsible, keeps the American economy competitive, but if there are other ideas, now’s a great time to hear them,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

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