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Biden pushes infrastructure plan, GOP vows fight

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President Joe Biden said at his first Cabinet meeting on Thursday that he would tap five of its members to help sell his $2 trillion-plus jobs and infrastructure plan to Congress and the public.

BIDEN: "Working with my team here in the White House, these cabinet members will represent me in dealing with Congress, engage the public and selling the plan and help work out the details as we refine it and move forward. These five members will be Pete Buttigieg, Jennifer Granholm, Marcia Fudge, Marty Walsh and Gina Raimondo."

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress signaled little appetite for Biden's infrastructure plan.

MCCONNELL: "It involves principally two things: higher taxes and more debt."

At a news conference in Owensboro, Kentucky, on Thursday, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and will fight the package in the Senate, claiming there was more money in the plan for electric cars than for roads and bridges.

MCCONNELL: "...I'm going to fight them every step of the way, because I think this is the wrong prescription for America."

While Biden's vast plan to modernize the nation's infrastructure is aimed at traditional goals like rebuilding roads and bridges, it also includes hundreds of billions of dollars to boost the market for electric vehicles, renewable power and advanced clean energy technologies, while stripping away subsidies for fossil fuels - initiatives Biden said would create millions of jobs.

PELOSI: "It is, in some ways, green. I know that word sometimes frightens people."

At a virtual news conference on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would be derelict in its duty if the infrastructure package did not include climate-related provisions.

REPORTER: "Why, in your mind, when they hear that word 'green' - why does that frighten people and how could that potentially undercut this bill?"

PELOSI: "Well, the people I was referring to are the people who are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry in the Congress of the United States. They know that we have to go forward with resilience and sustainability as we build our infrastructure."

Biden's infrastructure blueprint is one of the administration's biggest steps to date in achieving its agenda to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050 and restore the nation's leadership in addressing global warming.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: I thank the press for being here.

- President Joe Biden said at his first cabinet meeting on Thursday that he would tap five of its members to help sell his $2 trillion plus jobs and infrastructure plan to Congress and the public.

JOE BIDEN: Working with my team here in the White House, these cabinet members will represent me in dealing with Congress, engage the public in selling the plan, and help work out the details as we refine it and move forward. These five members will be Pete Buttigieg, Jennifer Granholm, Marcia Fudge, Marty Walsh, and Gina Raimondo.

- Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress signaled little appetite for Biden's infrastructure plan.

MITCH MCCONNELL: That involves principally two things, higher taxes and more debt.

- At a news conference in Owensboro, Kentucky on Thursday, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said he will fight the package in the Senates, claiming there was more money in the plan for electric cars than for roads and bridges.

MITCH MCCONNELL: And I'm going to fight them every step of the way because I think this is the wrong prescription for America.

- While Biden's vast plan to modernize the nation's infrastructure is aimed at traditional goals like rebuilding roads and bridges, it also includes hundreds of billions of dollars to boost the market for electric vehicles, renewable power, and advanced clean energy technologies, while stripping away subsidies for fossil fuels, initiatives Biden said would create millions of jobs.

NANCY PELOSI: It is in some ways, green. I know that word sometimes frightens people.

- At a virtual news conference on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would be derelict in its duty if the infrastructure package did not include climate-related provisions.

- Why, in your mind, when they hear that word, green, why does that frighten people, and how could that potentially undercut this bill?

NANCY PELOSI: Well, the people I was referring to are the people who are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry in the Congress of the United States. They know that we have to go forward with resilience and sustainability as we build our infrastructure.

- Biden's infrastructure blueprint is one of the administration's biggest steps to date in achieving its agenda to decarbonize the US economy by 2050 and restore the nation's leadership in addressing global warming.