Biden preludes huge infrastructure package to include tech--update


President Biden gave a preview of a massive national infrastructure package, reported to cost $3 trillion, that will include a rebuilding of both physical roads, bridges and buildings alongside technological infrastructure.

The president will talk about investments needed for domestic manufacturing, R&D, the caregiving economy and infrastructure at an event in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. *

Biden did not disclose many details during an earlier White House news conference on Thursday. He called it the “next major initiative” of his relatively young administration..

A report quoting informed sources by the Washington Post put the total price tag at $3 trillion to include funding for universal pre-K, free community college and climate measures.   However, Psaki some of those components and others will be laid out in coming weeks, in an apparent move to pare down the total cost of the plan. 

The report also said $400 billion of the total would go to combat climate change, $60 billion for infrastructure related to green transit and $46 billion for climate related research.  Some funds would go for electric vehicle charging stations and $200 billion for housing infrastructure, including $100 billion for low-income housing. 

President Biden in a recent interview also said the package would be partly supported by new taxes, including a small to significant tax increase on people making more than $400,000.

In his Thursday White House remarks, he said the U.S.  needs far more efficient air travel and improvements to one-third of the nation’s bridges and 20% of its highways. He said flights at U.S. airports are not on time 20% of the time, causing 1.5 million hours of lost productivity. Millions of homes still have lead pipes that could be replaced by workers with good-paying jobs, he added, and there are 100,000 well heads that could be capped by miners and pipefitters to prevent methane leaks.

Many of the infrastructure improvements he named will undoubtedly rely on upgraded technologies, such as scheduling software and new servers at airports and electrical components for EV charging stations.  Climate research relies on high performance computing as well.

 He noted porous windows in office complexes cannot hold in air or heat, wasting billions of barrels of oil. “It’s amazing,” he said. “There’s so much we can do to make people healthier and get good jobs.”

The U.S. is ranked 13th globally on infrastructure, he added, while “China is investing three times more on infrastructure.”


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*Psaki's comments were made on Monday and not included in an earlier version of this story.