Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s demand for a $10 trillion infrastructure spending package is a “natural part” of the debate over President Biden’s $2 trillion-plus spending proposal.
ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Buttigieg to respond to progressives like Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who believe Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” is not bold enough.
Buttigieg said both sides of the aisle have lodged objections over its price tag and scope, and that those differences are a “natural part” of the conversation.
Buttigieg then said the massive proposal is the “biggest investment in American job creation” since World War II, calling it a “huge deal.” He claimed that the spending plan will replace or improve 10,000 bridges, provide broadband to all Americans and create 19 million jobs.
Ocasio-Cortez reacted to Biden’s infrastructure proposal last week, saying it “needs to be way bigger.” During a recent appearance on MSNBC, Ocasio-Cortez told host Rachel Maddow that the House should “absolutely” increase the scope of the package before it is sent to the Senate.
“If we could wave a magic wand, and progressives in the House were able to name any number and get it through — which obviously isn’t the case, but if we’re looking at ideals … we’re talking about, realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Republican senators are loudly voicing their opposition to Biden’s proposal, including moderate Republicans who attempted to work with the Biden administration on the coronavirus stimulus bill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expressed concerns last week that Biden’s proposal would add trillions to the national debt. He also said it addresses far more than infrastructure, despite the White House selling it as an infrastructure plan.
“It contains sweeping far-left priorities like attacking blue-collar Americans’ right-to-work protections, a huge favor to big labor bosses,” McConnell said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the $2 trillion plan is “really just the Green New Deal lite masquerading as an infrastructure plan.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a moderate, said the Biden administration plan “redefines infrastructure to include hundreds of billions of dollars of spending on priorities like health care, workforce development, and research and development.”