WASHINGTON — All politics is local, that's why the Biden Administration wants Ohioans to know how the infrastructure plan could impact them. The White House is releasing a list of a dozen areas where the $2.7 trillion plan would benefit the Buckeye State.
For example, each Ohioan they estimate pays on average $506 in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. The Biden infrastructure plan dedicates $115 billion to address that which will cover 20,000 miles of road and more than 10,000 bridges including the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati.
On public transportation, the White House states 16% of the state's trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. RTA knows that all too well. With an estimated replacement cost of $3 million per rail car the hope is the $85 billion set aside in the plan would help to offset that.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge helping to sell the housing aspect of the plan tweeting "Housing is infrastructure" with the White House stating that 681,000 Ohio renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The plan calls for $200 billion to address the affordable housing crisis.
There will be $100 billion for broadband. According to officials, 6.2% of Ohioans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure and 58% live in areas where there is only one such provider.
On drinking water, they said “over the next 20 years, Ohio’s drinking water infrastructure will require $13.4 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.”
"All of this is an investment in Ohio towns, Ohio neighborhoods that have been overlooked by Washington and by Wall Street for far too long,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Republicans argue there are too many add ons and the package should be scaled back to include only traditional transportation infrastructure. The administration says they are open to negotiation but they plan on going big.
"I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and we can't afford to think small,” said Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “If we choose to short our own infrastructure each passing day is a day that America falls behind."
Also included in the list were areas like child care.
“In Ohio, there is an estimated $683 million gap in what schools need to do maintenance and make improvements and 39% of residents live in a childcare desert. The American Jobs Plan will modernize our nation’s schools and early learning facilities and build new ones in neighborhoods across Ohio and the country.”
These are items that Republicans call add-ons they take issue with as they do the administration’s plan to pay for it all by raising the corporate tax.
“The massive tax increases proposed by the Biden Administration and my Democratic colleagues will make American workers and American companies less able to compete in the global economy,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman. “Thanks to the 2017 tax reform that these proposals would largely dismantle, more jobs and investment flowed back to the U.S. in the pre-Covid economy, including $1.6 trillion of investment. In addition, millions of jobs were created and America not only had growing wages and historically low unemployment but also the lowest poverty rate ever recorded,” he said. “All of this will be put at risk by raising taxes.”