“Racial justice” is a heavy emphasis of President Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told The Breakfast Club on Monday.
“It’s roads and bridges,” Buttigieg said in response to a question asking what is in the ten-year American Jobs Plan, adding it will fix 20,000 miles of roads, which equals less than 0.5 percent of American roads.
He also said it will address 10,000 bridges around the country, or 1.6 percent of them.
“It’s improving our ports and airports,” he continued. “In fact, we’re going to double the resources for transit and this is important also for a racial justice perspective because black and brown Americans are more likely to rely on transit to get where they need to go.”
Buttigieg said “investing in workforce” will address an “equity question.”
“Who’s going to get to do the work? If we’re going to be building bridges and fixing roads and improving ports and airports and enhancing subways, who actually gets to do the work?” he said.
Buttigieg said the “infrastructure” plan addresses apprenticeships and skilled trades.
The secretary argued other countries, namely China, were surpassing America. He also said the government needs to make “investments that are going to head off climate change.”
Buttigieg conceded not all the items in the package are “infrastructure,” but said, “Fine, call it whatever you like, but still vote for it because it’s still good.”
In terms of funding the $2.5 trillion plan, Buttigieg told The Breakfast Club, “The president set this up in a way that’s fully paid for over the course of 15 years by resetting the corporate tax rate.”
The secretary argued the proposed tax increase — from 21 percent to 28 percent — is less than it used to be.
“We’re just trying to reset it to a reasonable level,” Buttigieg said.