CHICAGO - President Joe Biden’s administration gave "infrastructure report cards" to all 50 states on Monday. Illinois and Indiana each received a C-.
It was the president’s latest move to sell a nearly $2 trillion proposal he calls the "American Jobs Plan."
Meeting with corporate CEOs, Biden declared, "China and the rest of the world is not waiting…. It's about investing in infrastructure, in infrastructure not from the 20th century, but the 21st century."
Each state report card listed a dozen problems Biden’s proposal would address, including: "In Illinois there are 2,374 bridges and over 6,218 miles of highway in poor condition….On average, each driver pays $609 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair….The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform…transportation infrastructure."
The White House said 21% of Illinois’ trains, buses and other transit vehicles are past what engineers consider their "useful life."
Taylorville Congressman Rodney Davis, (R) Illinois, said he and some other Republicans would eagerly support such spending on roads, bridges and transit. But Davis objected to Biden’s proposed investments in so-called "human infrastructure," child care, elderly care, as well as coping with climate change.
"That's not a good priority for the American people!" Davis said.
Davis said the GOP strongly opposes the new taxes on business Biden proposes as a way to pay for his plan.
"Democrats are using infrastructure as a code word to open up the tax code, raise taxes on our mom-and-pop shops, raise taxes on millions of Americans," he said.
Biden insisted the money would be well spent. The White House fact sheet for Indiana asserted, "In Indiana, there is an estimated $518 million gap in what schools need to do maintenance and make improvements."
Biden claimed his plan would create more than 2.7 million jobs. Republicans counter that Biden’s proposed tax increases would kill a million jobs.