LANSING — Today, President Biden will be making his first visit since July to Michigan to reinforce his commitment to getting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed as part of his Build Back Better agenda. Already approved with broad bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate in August, the historic infrastructure bill is estimated to bring over $7 billion to Michigan to fix crumbling roads and bridges in addition to creating thousands of good-paying union jobs.
Once it passes the House and is signed into law, these resources would pair with the $229M slated for road and environmental infrastructure to improve or fully replace 100 local bridges, aid local municipalities with future extreme weather preparation, and replace Benton Harbor’s lead water lines. These provisions were recently approved in the $70 billion budget signed by Governor Whitmer that keeps Michigan fully funded through the next fiscal year.
Meanwhile, not a single Republican running for governor opted to name infrastructure as a top priority, or came close to speaking on issues important to Michiganders with the depth they deserve. New entrant Kevin Rinke went so far as to concede his lack of thought on the question of naming a top policy entirely, saying, “I didn’t give you a priority, whatsoever.”
And James Craig – the only candidate in the bunch that after weeks of avoiding opportunities to disclose how he would tackle improving Michigan’s infrastructure actively refused to consider making it a priority – once again flubbed an opportunity to offer substance on that or any other issue, simply stating, “I always start out talking about leadership.”
MDP Chair Lavora Barnes issued the following statement:
“We’re thrilled to have President Biden visiting Michigan to promote his popular and much-needed infrastructure bill because it drives home that our state is crucial to building back better. Better still, we have a leader in Governor Whitmer who will work with anyone to improve our infrastructure and fix the damn roads. That unfortunately can’t be said for the 12 Republicans running for governor who can’t even bring themselves to name infrastructure as a top policy priority.”