Joseph Biden

President of the United States

November 6, 2021, State Dining Room

Speaking about the passage of the infrastructure bill

Good morning, folks.  Well, finally: Infrastructure Week.  (Laughter.)  I’m so happy to say that: Infrastructure Week.  (Laughs.)

Folks, yesterday — I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest that we took a monumental step forward as a nation.

We learned that our economy created 5.6 million jobs since we took office on January 20th, reached an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent — two full years earlier than the vast majority of economists projected that would happen.  And we’re just — we’re just getting started.

We did something that’s long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington but never actually been done.

The House of Representatives passed an Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  That’s a fancy way of saying a bipartisan infrastructure bill — a once-in-a-generation investment that’s going to create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure — our roads, our bridges, our broadband, a whole range of things — to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity.  And it puts us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with China and other large countries and the rest of the world.

It’s going to create more jobs –- good-paying jobs, union jobs that can’t be outsourced –- and they’re going to transform our transportation system with the most significant investments in passenger rail — the most significant investment in 50 years; in roads and bridges — the most significant investment in 70 years; and more investment in public transit than we’ve ever, ever made.  Period.

It’s going to modernize our ports and our airports — and I’m going to be going to some of our ports next week — and to freight rail, increasing that as a re- — I mean, look, we have a — we have bottlenecks across the country.  We’re doing so much with this legislation.

It’s going to make it easier for companies to get goods to market more quickly and reduce supply chains’ bottlenecks and now — and now and for decades to come.

You know, and according to the economists, this is going to be — ease inflationary pressure — not increase it, ease inflationary pressures by lowering costs for working families.

It’s going to create jobs replacing lead and — lead water pipes so every American, every child can drink clean water, improving their health and putting plumbers and pipefitters to work.  How long have we been talking about that?  It’s a gigantic issue. 

Jobs making high-speed Internet affordable and available everywhere in America.  And you heard me say this before, and I apologize for repeating myself, but no parent should have to sit in a parking lot of a fast food restaurant so their child can do their homework because they have no Internet connection except to go off of what’s going on at — with — with that Internet connect from the fast food restaurant.

It’s going to make significant, historic strides to take on the climate crisis.  Some of you were with me when I was recently in Scotland at the COP26.  What did people keep asking me?  “Are you going to fund this?  Are you going to fund it?  Are you really going to do what you’re saying?  Are you…”  Well, this will go steps — get to along — a big step along the way of doing it.

We’re going to build out the first-ever national network of charging stations all across the country — over 500,000 of them — so that you can make real au- – and, you know, auto companies made a commitment they were going to make 50 percent of vehicles electric by 2030. 

So, you’ll be able to go across the whole darn country, from East Coast to West Coast, just like you’d stop at a gas station now.  These charging stations will be available.

It will get America off the sidelines on manufacturing — manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, battery storage, energy and power for electric vehicles from school buses to automobiles.

And it will reward companies for paying good wages and for getting materials for their products from right from here in America and America exporting and providing the rest of the world with these technologies that are generated here in the United States as we go green around the world.

It also makes historic investments in environmental clean-up and remediation.  It builds up our resil- — our resilience against superstorms and droughts and wildfires, hurricanes.  You know, you’ve heard me say it — again, I apologize for repeating myself — but $99 billion in losses last year because of climate crises.  In America — $99 billion it costs the taxpayers of America.  It represents a blinking red code out there for our nation.

Vice President Harris and I look forward to having a formal signing ceremony for this bipartisan infrastructure soon.  Because — but everybody is not — I’m not doing it this weekend because I want people who worked so hard to get this done — Democrats and Republicans — to be here when we sign it.

But we’re looking more forward to having shovels in the ground to begin rebuilding America.

And for all of you at home who feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s changing so rapidly, this bill is for you.

The vast majority of the thousands of jobs that will be created don’t require a college degree.  They’ll be jobs in every part of the country –- red states, blue states, cities, small towns, rural communities, Tribal communities.

This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America.  And it’s long overdue.

I’m also proud that the House took a big step toward — forward to pass my Build Better — my Build Back Better Act, which for the week of November 15th, they’re going to be taking up.  They went through the procedural mechanisms to assure that occurs.

Let me be clear: We will pass this in the House, and we’ll pass it in the Senate. 

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