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Biden Rebuts Republican Digs at Infrastructure ‘Social Agenda’

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:31 PM

The White House’s top infrastructure official on Friday will lay out how the administration will aim to advance racial equity and respond to climate change in deciding how money from the $1 trillion infrastructure law may be spent, even as Republican state officials push back on how President Joe Biden plans to distribute the funds.

Mitch Landrieu, Biden’s infrastructure coordinator, will outline 25 options for mayors to apply for billions in federal funding for roads, rail, transit, and clean water, according to the White House.

Landrieu’s speech comes the day after Republican governors wrote to Biden disagreeing with his approach to spending the infrastructure cash, adding that Biden shouldn’t infuse his “social agenda” into roads, bridges, and rail. Meanwhile, Biden’s $2 trillion economic plan is stalled on Capitol Hill, limiting the president’s tools to reach his racial equity and climate goals.

“There are going to be some differences, but at the end of the day, there really is common ground,” Landrieu told reporters at the White House on Tuesday about Republican governors’ concerns.

On Friday, according to the White House, he will outline when the Biden administration will open applications for key grant programs. Mayors can start applying for a chunk of the $7.5 billion road, rail, and transit grants by April. The administration’s $2 billion program to remove supply chain bottlenecks will accept proposals beginning February.

Biden signed the $1 trillion package into law in November. Landrieu’s office will publish more details for mayors and governors in the coming weeks, the White House said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Rozen in Washington at crozen@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com

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