During his visit to New Jersey President Joe Biden presented his federal spending projects to fix roads and bridges, improve train travel, expand child care and preschool and fight climate change.
“This initiative is about betting on America, about believing in America, about believing in the American people,” Biden said last week at the New Jersey Transit Meadowlands Maintenance Complex in Kearny.
President Joe Biden, nearing final agreement on two federal spending projects urged Congress to finish the job. “If you look at the history of the journey of this nation, what becomes clear is this: Given half a chance, the American people have never, ever, ever let their country down,” the Democratic president said. “So let’s get this done. Let’s move.”
As reported by nj.com, the President announced the construction of the new Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River. And he talked about finally building the Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson River, which would expand train traffic and allow the existing tubes to be closed to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
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“We’re talking about a $30 billion investment in major projects like the Hudson River Gateway tunnels and the Portal Bridge, which it feeds into,” Biden said.
Today, I’m heading to New Jersey to highlight the need for my Build Back Better Agenda and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. This is our moment to invest in American families, revitalize our nation’s infrastructure, and win the competition for the 21st century.
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 25, 2021
Biden called for passage of both his $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and separate legislation to address climate change, expand health coverage, reduce prescription drug costs, increase funding for child care and provide preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
“For most of the 20th century, we led the world by a significant margin because we invested in ourselves, we invested in our people, not only in our roads and our highways and our bridges, but in our people, in our families,” Biden said.
The importance of Portal Bridge
Gov. Phil Murphy opened the event where the projects for the Garden State were announced an talked about the importance of replacing the Portal Bridge. “For upwards of 200,000 daily riders, whether they be on Amtrak or NJ Transit, the approach to the Portal Bridge often comes with a crossing of fingers, a deep breath, and maybe short prayer that the span will be operational and allow the train to cross,” Murphy said.
The infrastructure bill includes at least $12.3 billion for New Jersey, plus billions more that could be tapped to help fund the Gateway Tunnel.
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The legislation also includes new funding for Superfund by restoring the tax on imported oil. New Jersey has more Superfund sites than any other state.
Biden touted the preschool funding in the second bill earlier in the day as he visited a pair of preschool classes at East End Elementary School in North Plainfield. Biden also discussed the preschool proposal in his speech. “The earlier our children can learn, the better for them, their families and our nation,” Biden said.
According to Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, the climate change provisions in the bill especially could be beneficial to New Jersey with its projects to build offshore wind farms.