Infrastructure spending bill must address 21st century challenges, press secretary Psaki says

1 week ago 8

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday pushed back against recent criticism toward President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure package, noting this needs to go beyond getting "the horse and buggy across the road anymore." 

"He [Biden] believes that the way we view infrastructure should be through the prism of how we can address the challenges we're facing today in America's infrastructure," Psaki said on CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith."

Psaki's comments came as some GOP lawmakers have claimed the proposal would put money toward things that do not qualify as infrastructure. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., described the package on Wednesday as "a Trojan horse" for tax hikes and unnecessary spending.

"There's broad bipartisan support for tackling the infrastructure issue. But it depends on what your definition is," McConnell said. "Infrastructure is roads, is bridges. It's broadband. But beyond that, they've thrown everything but the kitchen sink into it."

However, Psaki noted the infrastructure problems of 2021 go well beyond those previously faced by the country.

"A third of the country doesn't have access to reliable broadband, we have kids who are still drinking water that's going through lead pipes, there are veterans hospitals that need to be rebuilt, schools that need to be rebuilt," Psaki said. "That is all infrastructure."

Host Shepard Smith told Psaki this proposal has drawn comparisons to the New Deal. Psaki said Biden would not describe it as such, but said the bill is "a job-creating package that creates good, union jobs, higher paying jobs."

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