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Biden visits New Hampshire, touts infrastructure deal

President Joe Biden
Posted at 4:21 AM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 15:25:55-05

A day after signing a landmark $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill into law at the White House, President Joe Biden hit the road to tout the benefits of the package.

His first stop on his tour was in Woodstock, New Hampshire, to visit the Pemigewasset River Bridge — a bridge in rural New Hampshire in desperate need of structural repairs.

According to WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire, the bridge has been "red-listed" and has needed major structural repairs since 2013.

During his remarks on Tuesday, Biden noted that the bridge was no longer able to accommodate loads of 40 tons, and had a current weight limit of 20 tons. He added that steel plates will soon be added to the bridge deck to strengthen it, but added that such measures would be like "putting a band-aid on a large wound."

The infrastructure package Biden signed into law Monday provides $500 billion to improve roadways and bridges across the country. Biden noted that the federal funding would be used to make improvements to Pemigewasset River Bridge and more than 200 other bridges in the state that have also been red-listed.

"We'll once again have the world's bridges, roads, ports and airports," Biden said.

He also added that the funds would free up the state transportation department to use their own funding on other projects.

Biden's trip to New Hampshire marks Biden's first stop on his post-signing PR push, and it won't be the last. During a ceremony at the White House on Monday, Biden noted that he, Vice President Kamala Harris and other top administration officials would be fanning out across the country in the coming days and weeks to tout new projects resulting from the additional funding.

Biden hopes his legislative win will help revitalize sagging poll numbers. In October, an AP-NORC poll found that his approval ratings had slipped to just 50% and that his support from Republicans and Democrats alike had waned since the summer months.

However, the infrastructure package represents only a fraction of what Biden hopes to accomplish legislatively in the coming weeks. Lawmakers are currently debating a second bill — the "Build Back Better" plan — that focuses on social spending and combating climate change.

The "Build Back Better" plan would increase access to child care, decrease the costs of eldercare and cap prices on prescription drugs. It would be paid for through new tax hikes on multi-millionaires and businesses.

The "Build Back Better" plan faces a more narrow path to passage — as of Wednesday, no Republicans in either chamber have expressed support of the bill, and some moderate Democrats are withholding support until the Congressional Budget Office releases findings on the cost of the bill.

The Congressional Budget Office does not have a timeline of when the report will be done.

Biden called on lawmakers Tuesday to pass the social spending package, claiming that the bill will empower "hard-working middle-class folks" that have been cut out of the economy over the past 20 years.