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Local officials weight in on infrastructure after new deal

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Senate Democrats have come up with a deal on $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that they will attempt to pass through reconciliation.

President Biden is moving forward in his plan after reaching a the multi-trillion-dollar deal for an infrastructure bill amongst the Democratic party.

It’s expected to include the president’s human infrastructure, all in which was not included in the bipartisan proposal-- such as child care, health care, education and climate change.

“Of course we need to invest in our roads and bridges, which the bipartisan framework focuses on, but we need much more than that,” says Lynette Maselli with Invest in America Action West Virginia.

Local officials have now chimed into the recent decision of the president and are hopeful for this new meaning of infrastructure. However, for some, they want to focus on its original definition.

Chairman for WV Republican Party Mark Harris says, “if people want to have other things that are not roads and bridges, etc., fine call them something else, but don’t call them infrastructure because that’s not what it is.”

Another part of the bill people are finding conflicting is the price tag, including Senator Manchin who has played a key role in whether or not this legislation can move forward.

“I mean, this is almost like monopoly money at this point because we don’t have, all we’re doing is adding to our department,” Harris continued.

Even considering those factors, many voices around the state and country believe it’s best to redefine infrastructure in a way that betters not only our roads and other foundations, but the lives of people all at once.

Sammi Brown with Paid Leave for West Virginia says, “having a robust investment in people, and we’re talking about human capital here, will only make all of the other components of economic drivers that much better.”

President Biden met with Democrats on Wednesday to discuss the new deal. The bipartisan group plans to finalize their $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal by the end of the week.

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