President Joe Biden hosted an Oval Office meeting Thursday with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in an effort to draw support for a new White House infrastructure program.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
The president said the meeting was about “what we’re gonna do to make sure we once again lead the world across the board on infrastructure.” “It not only creates jobs, but it makes us a helluva lot more competitive around the world if we have the best infrastructure,” Biden said.
Spending on infrastructure appears to be the next major priority for the Biden administration after its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package clears the Senate, likely along hardened partisan lines.
The prospect of funding roads, bridges, ports, charging stations for electric vehicles and other infrastructure is a chance for Biden to rebuild his relationship with Republicans. It also allows him notch a policy achievement that evaded both the Obama and Trump administrations.
Biden met with eight members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, along with his new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Asked about Republicans trying to slow down the COVID relief bill, Biden said his administration has had a number of meetings with Republicans, adding, “we’re keeping everybody informed.”
In response to a question, Biden said he was comfortable with a limit to direct payments contained within the bill.