Transportation Secretary launches $1 billion pilot program to build racial equity in roads

Transportation Secretary launches $1 billion pilot program to build racial equity in roads

NEW HAMPSHIRE AS PRESIDENT. LET’S LISTEN IN NOW. PRES. BIDEN: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, MR. MAYOR. PLEASE, TAKE A SEAT IF YOU HAVE ONE. I ONCE, SEVERAL YEARS AGO, SAID EVERYONE, TAKE A SEAT. IT WAS IN THE EVENING, THERE WERE ABOUT 2000 PEOPLE OUT IN A FOOTBALL FIELD. IT WAS TOWARD THE END OF THE CAMPGNAI, I SAID, HAVE A SEAT. THEY ALL LOOKED AT ME LIKE, WE ARE STANDING. ALL OF THEM. ANYWAYS. THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH. IT IS FREE TO BE HERE IN PORTSMOUTH WHERE YOUR SENATOR, MAIEGG HASSAN, ONE OF MY FRIENDS FOR A LONG, LONG TIME, TO TALK ABOUT INVESTMENTS WE ARE MAKING TO MODERNIZE THE SUPPORT AND CREATE JOBS, AND BRING DOWN THE COST FOR FAMILIES IN THE REGION OF EVERYDAY LIFE. MAGGIE WAS A KEY PLAYER IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE LAW AND IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND I MIGHT ADD, AROUND THE COUNTRY. SHE MADE THE CASE FOR HIGH-SPEED INTERNET EVERYWHERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. AND PROTECTING NEW HAMPSHIRE’S COASTLINES FROM RISING SEA LEVELS AND EXTREME STORMS. FOR THE INVESTMENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE’’ ROADS AND BRIDGES, PORTS, AND WATERWAYS. REPRESENTATIVE CISHR PAPPAS, THANK YOU — CHRIS, WHERE YOU? CHRIS EROV HERE? THANKS FOR THE PASSPORT, OLD BUDDY. I APPRECIATE IT. HE IS A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ATTH GOT THIS BILL ACROSS THE FINISH LINE, GETTINGIG B IDEAS AND AN ACTUAL BILL IS HARD WORK, REQUIRING GETTING INTO THE REAL NITTY-GRITTY DETAILS WITHOUT LOSING THE BIG PICTURE. I AGREE. I AGREE COMPLETY.EL BY THE WAY, KIDS ARE ALLOWED TO DO ANYTHING EYTH WANT WHEN I SPEAK. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. TBU CHRIS, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DID, AND YOU DID A HELL OF A LOT OF WORK TO GET THIS DONE. ALWAYS MAKING THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR HOW CLEAN WAT,ER ACTORS TO INTERNET — ACCESS TO INTERT,NE REINVESTING IN THIS PORT MATTERS TO THE LIVES, THE LIVES OF YOUR FAMILY, AND THE ENTIRE REGION. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. [APPLAUSE] PR ES. BIDEN: AND HE AND I HAVE TALKED A LOT ABOUT WHAT WE NDEE TO DO TO SUPPORT NEW HAMPSHIRE’S PARENTS AND GIVE THEM BREATHING ROOM. SOMETIMES, THINGS GET TIGHT. AND EVEN THOUGH SHE CAN’T BE HERE, I ALSO WANT TO RECOGNIZE JEANNIE SHAHN,EE WHO IS WELL REPRESENTED TODAY BY HER HUSBAND, BILLY, AND THE FAMILY. BILLY, WHERE ARE YOU? [APPLAUSE] PRES. BIDEN: I CAN ONLY HAVE ONE GUY IN THE FOXHOLE WITH ME, I WOULD PICK BIL.LY GOOD TO SEE YOU, BILLY. AND I WANT TO THANK — SHE DOESN’T HOLD OFFICE, BUT A ALRELY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, HER MMO USED TO BE A SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL FIGURE APPEARED. IT IS GREAT TO SEE YOU, KIDDO. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, FOR BEING HERE. [APPLAUSE] PRES. BIDEN: I ALSO WANT TO THANK CHRIS AND MGIEAG AND JEAN AND ANNIE FOR ALL THEY DID TO PROVE THAT AMERICA CAN DO BIG THINGS WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER. WE CAN BUILD A BETTER AMERICA. WE ARE THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, I BELIEVE, THAT HAS COME OUT OF EVERY CRISIS WE HAVE FACED STRONGER THAN ONE WE WENT .IN LITERALLY STRONGER THAN WHEN WE WENT IN. THAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE JOURNEY OF THIS COUNTRY. THIS PORT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. A LOT OF IMPORTANT THINGS COME INTO THESE TERMINALS, PARTICULARLY THIS ONE, FROM SALT, TO DEICED ROADS. 85% OF HOME AND HEATING OIL USED IN THE STATE. A LOT OF IMPORNTTA THINGS, LIKE THE MASSIVE REACTOR ASSEMBLIES FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS THAT ARE MANUFACTEDUR BY WESTERN HOUSE ELECTRIC HERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. RECENT,LY THIS PORT HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT LINK TO MORE CONSTRUCTI EONQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS FOR $2.3 BILLION PROJECT THAT I HAVE AUTHORIZED IN PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD. $2.3 BILLION, IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU ALL AND WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. [APPLAUSE] PRES. BIDEN: I KNOW THEY SAY THE PORTS ARE NAMED, BUT I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS NEW HAMPSHI.RE — ARE NOT NAMED, BUT I/O IS THOUGHT OF IT AS NEW HAMPSHIRE. THAT IS WHAT BILLY TAUGHT ME. THE NAVIES, NUCLEAR POWER ATTACK SUBMARINES ARE BUILTS A WELL, STATIONED. LO,OK ALL IN, THIS PORT SUPPORTS OVER 2300 JO.BS 2300 JOBS. BUTS I TOO — THAT IS $275 MILLION THIS REGION’S ECONOMY. THAT IS NOT EVEN COUNTING THE MORE THAN 6000 CIVILIAN CONTRACTORS AND JOBS OVER AT THE NAVY YARD. JOBS IN MAINE,EW N HAMPSHIRE, AND AROUND THE REGION. BUT THIS PORT HAS MORE POTENTIAL THAN THAT. UNLTI RECENTLY, THE AREA IN THE HARBOR CALLED ETH TURN 80 WAS ONLY 800 FEET LONG. AND IT MEANT THAT PILOTS HAD TO TURN AROUND AT 765 FOOT SHIP IN 800 FEET. I CALL THAT TOUGH PARALLEL PARKING, MAN. BUT SERIOUSLY. THEY MEANT THAT TO BE SAFE, SOME OF THE SPSHI COULD ONLY COME IN OR SAIL OUT AT HIGH TIDE, THEY COULD ONLY SAIL AT NIG,HT OR THEY COULD NOT SAIL WHEN THERE WAS TOO MU WCHIND, BECAUSE THEY GET KNOCKED OFF COURSE. HERE IS WHY IT MATTERS. WHEN YOU KEEAP SHIP IN DOC AFTER THE CARGO HAS BEEN DELIVERED,T ICAN COST $90,000 A DAY WHEN THAT SHIP IS IN PORT. THOSE COSST GET PASSED ON TO YOU, CONSUMERS, WHATEVER IT HAPPENS TO BE. IT ALSO HAS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR DECADES, BUT WITHIN $18 MILLION INVESTMENT FROM THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WITH THE HELP OF MAGGIEND A CHRIS, THE PORT AND UNION LABOR, WE WIDENED THE BASIN TO 1200 FEET. [APPLAUSE] WE GOT IT DONE. NOW,T I IS EASIER, FASTER, CHEAPER AND SAFER FOR SHIPSO T GET IN AND OUT. AND THE PORT CAN HOLD LARGER SHIPS, LIKE THE MASSIVE HUBS NEEDED FOR OFFSHORE WIND FAR.MS WE HAVE ALSO ANNOUNCED AN ADDITIONAL 1.7 MILLION DOLLARS — $1.7 BIIOLLN INVESTMENT TO DREDGE A TRENC–H A TRICKY PART OF THE CHANNEL WHERE SAND HAS BUILT UP. WITHOUT THAT, THERE COULD BE MORE RESTRICTIONS. WE ARE SENDING A MESSAGE, THIS PORT IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AND LLWI BE FOR A LONG TIME. AND WE ARE SENDING THE SAME MESSAGE WITH INVESTMENTS IN ROADS AND BRIDGES HERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. IN NOVEMBER, MAGGIE, CHRIS AND ANDY WERE WITH ME WHEN I VISITED THE PENNY BRIDGE IN WOODSTOCK, JUST A COUPLE HOURS NORTH OF HERE. THERE BRIDGER O PINNED — THE BRIDGE OPENED IN 1939. LOCAL BRIDGES — LOCAL BUSINESSES DEPENDED ON IT. SCHOOL BESUS CRUSTED EVERY DAY. WITHOUT THE BRIDGE, THEY WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A 10 MILE DETOUR TO GET AROUND TO THE OTHER SIDE. THWI FIRES AND EMERGENCIES, EVERY SINGLE MEIL MATTERS. RIGHT NOW, THERE EAR NEARLY 200 RIDGES DEEMED DICEFNTIE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ALONE. THERE IS ABOUT 315 SUCH BRIDGES IN MAINE. MANY OF THESE ARE LESS-TRAFFICDKE BRIDGES THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO SMALL TOWNS AND RURAL AREASOR F FARMERS AND BUSINESSES. I WAS IN PITTSBURGA H LITTLE GRAY MONTH AGO AND I GOT THERE THE MORNING ONE OF ITS BRIDGES COLLAPSED. THE BDGERI WAS BUILT IN 1939, IF I AM NOT MISKETAN, AND IT WAS PUT ON THE LIST OF BRIDGES IN DANGER. IT WAS A 12-STORY DROP INTO A SMALL CREEK, A RAVINE THAT COVERED ABOUT 300 YARDS. HAD IT NOT BEEN A SNOW DAY BEFORE, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT OF SCHOOL BUSES ON THAT BRIDGE. A LOT OFID KSOU WLD HAVE BEEN KILLED. YOU PROBABLY SAW IT ON THE FRONT PAGE OF EVERY PAPER IN AMERICA. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. FORTUNATELY, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN THERE, FORTUNATELY, THERE WAS NO ONE ON THE BRIDGE. ACTUALLY, THERE WERE FOUR VEHICLES, BUT NO ONE GOT KILLED. WH IEN WAS DOING THE RECOVERY ACT IN OUR LAST ADMINISTRATION, OBAMA-BIDEN, I WAS IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, A SLLMA TOWN, AND I LOOKED AT A BRIDGE. THERE FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS ON ONE SIDE OF THE BRIDGE AND LITERALLY FROM HEER TO THAT HOLDING TANK OUTSIDE WAS A SHOPPING CENTER AND A SCHOOL. GUESS WHAT, IN A FE,IR YOU COULDN’T GET ACROSS THE BRIDGE. YOU HAD TO GO 10 MILES TO GO AROUND AND GET BACK DOWN. PEOPLE, DYING IN THAT 10 MILES OF THE FIRE TRUCK ADDING THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIRE. THIS MATTERS. WE ARE MAKING HISTORIC INVESTMENTS. THIS YEAR ALONE, WE ARE DELIVERING $45 MILLION TO FIX HER BRIDGES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, THIS YEAR ALONE. [APPLAUSE] THE LAST FELLOW WHO HAD THIS JOB KEPT TALNGKI ABOUT AN INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK. FOR FOUR YEARS. WE HAVE AN INFRASTRUCTEUR DECADE. [APPLAUSE] THERE IS $1.2 BILLION. WE STAFF THE FINEST INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE WORLD. WE NOW RKAN NUMBER 13 AND THE QUALITY OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. CHAIN IS AHEAD OF US, SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MOVED. FOLKS, THIS MATTERS TO OUR SAFETY, SECURI,TY HEALTH, AND A RANGE OF OTHER THINGS. 700 MILES OF HIGHWAY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ARE IN RKPO ADDICT — POOR CONDITION. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THE DRIVING ON THOSE ROADS, ROUGHLY 700 MILES NEED REPAIRS, COST NEW HAMPSHIRE DRIVERS AN AVERAGE OF FOUR AND $76 A YEAR IN EXTRA GAS AND REPAIRS AND LONGER COMMUTE TIMES. ATTH IS $476 OF A HIDDEN TAX ON NEW HAMPSHIRE DRIVERS. WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT IN MODERNIZING OUR ROADS AND BRIDGES, THE BIGGEST SINCE THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM WAS BUILT I EISENHOWER. WE ARE GOING TO START REPLACING 100% OF LEAD WATER PIPES AND SERVICE LINES GOING INTO OUR HOMES AND SCHOOLS. [APPLAUSE] THERERE A 10 MILLION HOMES AND 400,000 SCHOOLS AND PRESCHOOLS AND DAY CARE CENTERS THAT HAVE LEAD WATER PIPES BRINGING THE WATER IN. MANY OF THAT CAUSES MENTAL ILLNESS, BRAIN DAMAGE, IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT. WE ARE ALSO GOING TO ADDRESS FAST — PFAS, DANGEROUS FOREVER CHEMICALS IN THE WATER. ITS I SOMETHING SENATOR SHAHEEN IS CHAMPIONING. EVERY AMERICAN, EVERY CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO TURN ON THE FAUCETND A DRINK CLEAN WATER. IT WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF GOOD PAYING JOBSOR F PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS DIGGING THOSE CHANNELS. NEXT TO THE AMERINCA RESCUE PLAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS ALREADY SEEN $150 MILLION PUT INTO DRINKING WATER AND WASTEWATER AND OTHER PROJECTS IN THE STATE AS I SPEAK. [APPLAUSE] MAGGIE, CHRIS AND ANDY, WE SHARE A COREEL BFIE — HIGH-SPEED INTEETRN IS ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY. BUT EVEN TODAY, ONE IN 10 PEOPLE, WHEN HE 10 HOUSEHOLDS, DON’T HAVE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET. THAT IS A LOT OF PLASCE WHERE THERE IS NO BROADBAND OR INFRASTRUCTURE AT ALL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. IT IS NOT JUST NEW HAMPSHIRE FAMILIES, BUT BUSINESSES AS WELL. THIS LAWS GOING TO MAKE I-SPEED INTERNET AVAILABLE AND AFFORDABLE EVERYWHERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND MAINE, URBAN, SUBURBAN AND RURAL AND IT IS GOING TO CREATE THOUSANDS OF UNION JOBS, TECHNICIANS WILL BE LAYING DOWN THESE BROADBAND LINES. NEVER AGAIN SHOULD A PARENT HAVE TO SIT IN THEIRAR C AT A MCDONALD’S PARKING LOT, LITERALLY, SO THAT THEIR CHILD CAN GET ACCESS TO I-SPEED INTERNET AND DO THEIR HOMEWORK OVER THE INTERNET. THE LAW ALSO BUILDS UP OUR RESILICEEN TO EXTREME WEATHER. 15 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, TSHI STATE EXPERIENCED ITS SECOND 100-YEAR FLOOD IN THE SPACE OF 11 MONTHS. CARS SUBMERGED. THOUSANDS OF EVACUATIONS. PEOPLE LOST EVERYTHING THEY OWNED, TWICE. OUR INFRASTRUCTURE LAW UPGRADES STORM MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS SO THAT FEWER WILL BE FODLOED OUT OF THEIR HOMES AND LOSE POWER FOR DAYS AND WEEKS BECAUSE OF THESE STORMS. THERE IS SO MUCH IN THIS LAW, I’M NOT GOING TO BORE YOU WITH THE REST OF IT, BUT IT IS SIGNIFICANT. WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS AND HAVE AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY AHEAD OF US. BUT WE KNOW FAMILIES ARE STILL STRUGGLING WITH HIGHER PRICES. I GREW UP IN A FAMILY WHERE THE PRICOFE AS GOLINE WENT UP AT THE PUMP AND THERE WAS A DISCUSSION AT THE KITCHEN TABLE. MY DAD WAS A GOOD MAN WHO MADE IT DECENT LIVING BUT WE WERE ALWAYS ON THE MARGINS, AND EVERYTHING MATTERED. LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR WHY WE HAVE SUCH HIGH PRICES NOW. THERE ARE TWO REASONS. THE FIRST IS COVID. THE WAY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY WORKS, A FACTORYN I VIETNAM MAKES COMPUTER CHIPS ANDEC BAUSE OF A COVERT OUTBREAK, IT CAUSES A RIPPLE EFFECT TO SLOW DOWN MANUFACTURING IN DETROIT, WHERE THEY NEED THOSE SICEMONCTDUORS TO BUILD THE AUTOMOBILES. BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, WE HAD DISRUPTIONS OF OUR SUPPLY OF CORE MATERIALS, SO PRICES WTEN UP. JUST LOOK AT AUTOMOBILES. LAST YEAR ALONE, THEYCC AOUNTED FOR ONE THIRD OF ALL THE INFLATION IN AMERICA. THE PCERI TOP BECAUSE SO FEW WERE BEING ME.AD AUTOMOBILE COMPANIES COULDN’T GET THE COMPUTER CHIPS AND THE PRICE OF AUTOMOBILES SKYROCKETED. I AM RUNNING ON CONGRESS TO PASS THE BIPARTISAN INNOVATION BILL TO MAKE MORE CHIPS AT HOME AND SPEED THE SUPPLY. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF INTEL CAME TO SEE ME. HE SAID, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO INVEST $20 MILLION TO BUILD COMPUTER TO FACTORIES JUST WEST OF CLEVELAND. IF WE GET THIS OTHER PIECE OF LEGISLATION WHICH HAS PASSED ONE HOUSE AND NOT THE OTHER, WE ARE GOING TO NEED TO INVEST ANOTHER $100 BILLION, $100 BILLION. IT WILL CREATE 7000 CONSTRUCTION JOBS AND 3800 FULL-TIME JOBS. THE AVERAGE SALARY FOR THE FULLIM-TE JOBS, MANY OF THEM BLUE-COLLAR JOBS, ARE $126,000 A YEAR. AT THE SECOND BIG REASON FOR INFLATION IS VLAMIR DIPUTIN. NOT A JOKE. PUTIN’S INVASION OF UKRAINE HAS IVDREN UP GAS PRICES AND FOOD PRICES ALL OVER THE WORLD. OTW MAJOR BREAD BASKETS OF WHEAT IN THE WORLD WERE UKRAINE AND RUSSIA. THE U.S. IS NUMBER THREE AND CANADA OR. WHAT WE SAW IN THE MOST RECENT INFLATION DATA — LAST MONTH, 70% OF THE INCREASE IN INFLATION WAS A CONSEQUENCE OF PUTIN’S PREIC HIKE BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT ON GAS AND ENERGY PRICES. I AM DOING EVERYTHINIG CAN TO ADDRESS THE PRICE HIK.ES THAT IS WHY I AUTHORIZED THE RELEASE OF 100 MILLION BARRELS A DAY FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS FROM OUR STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE. THE PRESS IS ALWAYS ASKING, WITH GOOD REASON, WHY I AM ALWAYS ON THE PHONE TALKING WITH WORLD LEADERS, TRYING TO KEEP IT ORGANIZED. I GOT A LOT OF OTHER COUNTRIES TO AGREE THAT THEY WOULD RELEASE PEOLTRMEU FROM THEIR STRATEGIC OIL RESERVE. [APPLAUSE] WE ARE WORKING WITH U.S. OIL PRODUCERS TO RAMP UP PRODUCTION AT WE HAVE COORDINATED THIS RELEASE WITH OUR PARTNERS AND ALLIES AROUND THE WORLD. SHORTLY AFTER I MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT, ANOTHER 30 COUNTRIES AGREED TO 60 MILLION ADDITIONAL BARRELS A DAY ON THE MARKET. AND NOW, WE HAVE 200 40 MILLION BARRELS A DAY FOR THE NEXT NEXT MONTHS. THAT IS THE LARGEST COLLECTIVE RESERVE IN RECTEN HISTORY, NATIONS COMING TOGETHER TO DENY PUTIN THE ABITYLI TO WEAPONIZE ENERGY RESOURCES AGAINST AMERICAN FAMILIES AND FAMILIES IN EUROPE AND THE ROUND THE WORLD. BUT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE. AMERICA SHOULD ALREADY BE SEEGIN THE SAVINGS, IT IS ALREADY GONE DOWN $.18, AND THE SAVINGS ARE STARTING. BEYOND GAS PRICES, I CALLED ON CONGRESS TO LOWER THE COST OF FAMILY UTILITY BILLS, PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILLS, DAN MORE LOWER THE DEFICIT AND REDUCE INFLATION. THAT WOULD MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR FAMILIES. WE CAN DO THESE THINGS WITHOUT RAISING A SINGLE PENNY ON TAXES OF ANYONE MAKING LESS THAN $400,000 A YR.EA NOBODY MAKING SSLE THAN $400,000 WOULD SEE A SINGLE PENNY OF THE TAXES RAISED. ITS I THE BEST WAY CONGRESS CAN ADDRESS INFLATION RIGHT NOW. THE FACT IS THAT WE ARE IN A SITUATION WREHE THE WARREN UKRAINE — WAR IN UKRAINE IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO TAKE ITS TOLL ON THE WORLD ECONOMY. IT IS GOING TO TAKE ITS TOLL ON ENERGY. IT IS GOING TO TAKE ITS TOLL RELATIVE TO FOOD. WHEN I WAS RUNNING FOR OFFICE, YOU HEARD IT 1000 TIMES FROME, M WE ARE GOING TO BUILD AN ECONOMY AROUND YOU. I AM SO TIRED OF TRUCK-DOWN ECONOMICS AND I NEVER FOUND THAT IT TRICKLED DOWN ON TOP OF MY HEAD VERY MUCH. I HAD THE GREAT PLEASUROFE BEING LISTED AS THE POOREST MAN IN CONGRESS FOR 36 YEARS. I WAS GETTING A SENATOR’S SALARY. I DIDN’’ THINK YOU SHOULD MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU WERE IN OFFICE, BUT THE POINT IS TS,HI AND OFF A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE HURTING. IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE. IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE,HE T COST OF A DOZEN EGGS, THE COST OF A GALLON OF GASOLINE, IT MATTS.ER IT MATTE.RS SO, I CONCLUDED WHEN I RAN THIS LAST TIME THAT WE ARE GOING TO BUILD TH EISCONOMY FROM THE BOTTOM UP AND THE MIDDLE OUT. BECAUSE WHEN THAT HAPPENS, EVERYBODY DOES WELL. THE WEALTHY DO VERY WLEL AND THE POOR HAVE A LADDER UP AND THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS A LITTLE BIT OF BREATHING RO.OM I GREW UP IN A HOUSEHOLD WHERE WE LIVED IN A SPLIT-LEVEL HOME, THREE BEDROOMS, FOUR KIDS, MOM AND DAD AND GRANDPA LIVING WITH US. EON NIGHT, THE WALLS WERE KIND OF THIN, MY DAD WAS RESTLESS. THE NEXT MORNING WHEN HE WENT TO WORK, I ASKED MOM, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM? HIS COMPANY JUST SAID THEY ARE NOT GOING TO COVER HEALTH INSURANCE EVERY — HEALTH INSURANCE ANYMORE. THESE THISNG MATTER TO PEOPLE. THEY MATTER TO ORDINARY PEOPLE. WE CAN IN FACT PROVIDE FOR ANYONE WHO HAS TYPE ONE DIABETES , 200,000 KIDS WHO HAVE IT NEED THAT INSULIN EVERY SINGLE DAY. THE AVERAGE COSTS I $647 A MONTH, SOMETIMES AS LOW AS $90 AND AS HIGH AS $1000 DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU ARE. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO MAKE ONE OF THOSE VIALS OF INSULIN? ,10 T-E-N DOLLARS. NOT A SINGLE CHANGE HAS BEEN MADE IN INSULIN SINCE IT WAS DISCOVERED. WE CAN MAKE A CHANGE, TOOK $35. THEY STILL MAKE A SIGNIFICANT PROFIT. WHAT IN GOD’S NAME ARE WE DOING? I AM A CAPITALIST. I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLTOE GO OUT AND MAKE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, EVEN A BILLION IF YOU CAN MAKE IT, BUT AT LEAST THAT YOUR FAIR SHARE. MAY SOMETHING. — PAY — BUT AT LEAST PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE. YPA SOMETHING. [APPLAUSE] I COME FROM THE CORPORATE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. MORE CORPORATIONS ARE INCORPORATED IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE THEN ANY OTHER STATES COMBINED. — THAN EVERY OTHER STATES COMBINED. AND I SURVIVED WINNING SEVEN SENATE ELECTIONS IN THAT STATE. AND HERE’S THE DE.AL 50 OF THE TOP-500 CORPORATIONS IN AMERICA LTAS YEAR THAT MADE A TOTALF O $40 BILLION IN PROFIT DID NOT PAY PAY ONE SINGLE PENNY — DID NOT PAY ONE SINGLE PENNY. NOT ONE. THE AVERAGE PERCENT BILLIONAIRES PAY, THE 790 OF THEM, IS AROUND THREE POINT 8%. JUST PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE. WE CAN DO ALL ESTHE THINGS. AND ONE LAST THING. THE BUDGET I SUBMITTED, MFIY RST BUDGET THAT PASSED AND BECAME LAW, IT CUT THE FEDERAL DEFICIT BY $035 BILLION. WE CUT THE DEFICIT $035 BILLION. [APPLAUSE] AND AT THE BUDGET I PROPOSED THIS YEAR, IFT I COMES TO TOTAL FRUITION, WILL CUT THE DEFICIT BY $1.3 TRILLION. SO, WHEN MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS START TALKING ABOUT BIG SPENDING AND THE REONAS WHY THERE IS INFLATION, TAKE A LOOK. WE HAVE CUT THE DEFICIT DRASTICALLY. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS. OVER THE COURSE OF MY PRESIDENCY, OUR RECOVERY SO FAR HAS CREATED 7.9 MILLION NEW JOBS. [APPLAUSE] MORE JOBS CREATED OVER THE FIRST 14 MONTHS THAN ANY PRESIDENT EVER. OVER 420,000 MANUFACTURING JS.OB THE UNEMPLOYMENT RA ISTE AT 3.6 PERCENT, DOWN FROM 6.4%. IN THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, IT IS DOWN FMRO 4.2% TO 3.2%. FOLKS COMING IN MAY, WE ADDED 28,000 JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED FROM 4.4% TO 3.6%. I MISSPOKE, IT DROPPED TO 2.5%. LAST YEAR, WE CUT THE DEFICITS A I SAID BY REMO THAN 3.5 BILLION DOLLARS IN THIS YEAR WE ARE ON TRACK FOR ONE POINT $3 TRILLION IN CUTS. THAT WOULD BE THE LARGEST DEBT REDUCTION IN AMERICAN HISTORY. IT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT NOW WHEN WE ASK OURSELVES HOW WE ARE GOING TO REDUCE PRESSURE ON INFLATION. MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE WERE ON THE MEND AND ARE NOT ON THE MEND ANY LONGER. THEY ARE ON THE MOVE. WE ARE COMING OUT OUR GOALS WITH A POSITION OF STRENGTH. I SEE THE FUTURE THAT IS WITHIN OUR GRASP. WE CAN’T BE AFRAID THOUGH. WE ARE THE ONLY NATION ON EARTH THATAS H TURNED EVERY SINGLE, SOLITARY CRISIS THAT WE HAVE HAD INTO OPPORTUNITY. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO TODAY, IF WE DOT I TOGETHER. IT IS ABOUT BEING TOGETHER — THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WHEN WE DOHAT, T THERE ISN’T A SINGLE THING THAT WE CAN’T DO.

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Transportation Secretary launches $1 billion pilot program to build racial equity in roads

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday launched a $1 billion first-of-its-kind pilot program aimed at helping reconnect cities and neighborhoods racially segregated or divided by road projects, pledging wide-ranging help to dozens of communities despite the program’s limited dollars.Under the Reconnecting Communities program, cities and states can now apply for the federal aid over five years to rectify harm caused by roadways that were built primarily through lower-income, Black communities after the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system.New projects could include rapid bus transit lines to link disadvantaged neighborhoods to jobs; caps built on top of highways featuring green spaces, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways to allow for safe crossings over the roadways; repurposing former rail lines; and partial removal of highways.Still, the grants, being made available under President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, are considerably less than the $20 billion the Democratic president originally envisioned. Advocacy groups say the money isn’t nearly enough to have a major impact on capital construction for more than 50 citizen-led efforts nationwide aimed at dismantling or redesigning highways — from Portland, Oregon, to New Orleans; St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston; Tampa, Florida; and Syracuse, New York. Meanwhile, some Republicans, including possible 2024 presidential contender Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have derided the effort as the “woke-ification” of federal policy, suggesting political crosswinds ahead in an election season.“Transportation can connect us to jobs, services and loved ones, but we‘ve also seen countless cases around the country where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built,” said Buttigieg, who was announcing the pilot program later Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama. He described Reconnecting Communities as a broad department “principle” — not just a program — to address the issue with many efforts underway.“This is a forward-looking vision,” Buttigieg said. “Our focus isn’t about assigning blame. It isn’t about getting caught up in guilt. It’s about fixing a problem. It’s about mending what has been broken, especially when the damage was done with taxpayer dollars.”The Transportation Department has aimed to help communities that feel racially harmed by highway expansions, with the Federal Highway Administration last year taking a rare step to pause a proposed $9 billion widening project in Houston, partly over civil rights concerns. That move likely spurred action in other places such as Austin, Texas, where environmental and racial justice groups recently filed a lawsuit to force the Texas transportation agency to better lay out the impacts of a proposed highway expansion there.Buttigieg drew fire from some Republicans earlier this year when he said the federal government had an obligation to address the harms of racist design in highways. “There’s trees they’re putting in, they’re saying that highways are racially discriminatory. I don’t know how a road can be that,” DeSantis said in February, dismissing it as “woke.” Under the program, $195 million in competitive grants is to be awarded this year, of which $50 million will be devoted for communities to conduct planning studies.The department will also launch a “Thriving Communities” initiative to provide technical support for potential projects that serve disadvantaged communities alongside the Housing and Urban Development Department.The Transportation Department has previously estimated it could help as many as 20 U.S. communities under the new program to remove portions of interstates and redesign streets by tapping into other transportation funds. According to the department, communities that win the Reconnecting Communities grants but still need additional funds will be prioritized in their applications for other pots of federal transportation money. Dozens more communities could derive benefit from the planning grants.“Prior to 2021, the idea that we would deal with highway infrastructure that has divided communities was very much a fringe idea,” said Ben Crowther, coordinator for the Boston-based Freeway Fighters Network, which is supported by the Congress for the New Urbanism. “The Biden administration has really transformed that into mainstream thinking. We are thinking now this is something that is possible — that you can remove a highway and instead build safe streets that are walkable, add housing and address other community needs besides travel time.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday launched a $1 billion first-of-its-kind pilot program aimed at helping reconnect cities and neighborhoods racially segregated or divided by road projects, pledging wide-ranging help to dozens of communities despite the program’s limited dollars.

Under the Reconnecting Communities program, cities and states can now apply for the federal aid over five years to rectify harm caused by roadways that were built primarily through lower-income, Black communities after the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system.

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New projects could include rapid bus transit lines to link disadvantaged neighborhoods to jobs; caps built on top of highways featuring green spaces, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways to allow for safe crossings over the roadways; repurposing former rail lines; and partial removal of highways.

Still, the grants, being made available under President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, are considerably less than the $20 billion the Democratic president originally envisioned. Advocacy groups say the money isn’t nearly enough to have a major impact on capital construction for more than 50 citizen-led efforts nationwide aimed at dismantling or redesigning highways — from Portland, Oregon, to New Orleans; St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston; Tampa, Florida; and Syracuse, New York. Meanwhile, some Republicans, including possible 2024 presidential contender Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have derided the effort as the “woke-ification” of federal policy, suggesting political crosswinds ahead in an election season.

“Transportation can connect us to jobs, services and loved ones, but we‘ve also seen countless cases around the country where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built,” said Buttigieg, who was announcing the pilot program later Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama. He described Reconnecting Communities as a broad department “principle” — not just a program — to address the issue with many efforts underway.

“This is a forward-looking vision,” Buttigieg said. “Our focus isn’t about assigning blame. It isn’t about getting caught up in guilt. It’s about fixing a problem. It’s about mending what has been broken, especially when the damage was done with taxpayer dollars.”

The Transportation Department has aimed to help communities that feel racially harmed by highway expansions, with the Federal Highway Administration last year taking a rare step to pause a proposed $9 billion widening project in Houston, partly over civil rights concerns. That move likely spurred action in other places such as Austin, Texas, where environmental and racial justice groups recently filed a lawsuit to force the Texas transportation agency to better lay out the impacts of a proposed highway expansion there.

Buttigieg drew fire from some Republicans earlier this year when he said the federal government had an obligation to address the harms of racist design in highways. “There’s trees they’re putting in, they’re saying that highways are racially discriminatory. I don’t know how a road can be that,” DeSantis said in February, dismissing it as “woke.”

Under the program, $195 million in competitive grants is to be awarded this year, of which $50 million will be devoted for communities to conduct planning studies.

The department will also launch a “Thriving Communities” initiative to provide technical support for potential projects that serve disadvantaged communities alongside the Housing and Urban Development Department.

The Transportation Department has previously estimated it could help as many as 20 U.S. communities under the new program to remove portions of interstates and redesign streets by tapping into other transportation funds. According to the department, communities that win the Reconnecting Communities grants but still need additional funds will be prioritized in their applications for other pots of federal transportation money. Dozens more communities could derive benefit from the planning grants.

“Prior to 2021, the idea that we would deal with highway infrastructure that has divided communities was very much a fringe idea,” said Ben Crowther, coordinator for the Boston-based Freeway Fighters Network, which is supported by the Congress for the New Urbanism. “The Biden administration has really transformed that into mainstream thinking. We are thinking now this is something that is possible — that you can remove a highway and instead build safe streets that are walkable, add housing and address other community needs besides travel time.”

Contributed by local news sources

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