U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledges it is not “going to be easy” to achieve bipartisanship in an infrastructure bill.
During his appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” Buttigieg was asked if he would pursue an infrastructure bill through the process of reconciliation which would not require Republican support.
“I think we should seek to earn as many votes across the aisle as possible, definitely on this rescue plan,” Buttigieg said.
He added, “There’s clear bipartisan support among the American people, among American elected officials at least if you’re talking to mayors and hopefully that will be reflected on the hill.”
Watch his comments below:
“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy,” Transportation @SecretaryPete Buttigieg says on seeking bipartisanship in an infrastructure bill, adding that “it’s very clear … by things like what Texans are suffering through this week, that America cannot wait any longer” pic.twitter.com/ddSHzi70ZE— New Day (@NewDay) February 19, 2021
Host Jim Sciutto pushed back and suggested “the political incentives are nasty” and many Republicans “calculate helping a Democratic administration is only going to hurt me.”
He asked Buttigieg if he sees the dynamic changing on the issue of infrastructure.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy,” he said.
Buttigieg explained, “There’s a reason that it hasn’t happened yet, but I think we’ve come to a moment where it’s very clear in some cases crushingly and bluntly made clear by things like what Texans are suffering through this week, that America cannot wait any longer, that we can’t afford not to act.”
He unveiled his $1 trillion infrastructure plan in January designed to provide state and local governments with funding to revive the nation’s transportation networks, increase clean water supply, and expand broadband internet.
“Under my administration, local governments will finally have a partner in Washington,” Buttigieg wrote. “As a former mayor, I know that priority-based budgets made locally are better than budget-based priorities set in Washington.”
In the plan, he criticized the way the Trump administration handled infrastructure, saying it “has been incapable of keeping its promise to pass major infrastructure legislation, and critical projects around the country are stalled because of it.”
He continued, “Meanwhile, our roads and bridges crumble, our schools fall into disrepair, water systems poison our children, and our flood protection systems fail as climate change accelerates.”