“Debate is welcome. Compromise is inevitable. Changes are certain,” he said. “We’ll be listening. We’ll be open to good ideas and good faith negotiations.”
“We will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction simply is not an option.”
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: So here we are. Democrats and Republicans will have ideas about what they like and what they don’t like about our plan. That’s–that’s a good thing. That’s the American way. That’s the way democracy works. Debate is welcome. Compromise is inevitable. Changes are certain.
In the next few weeks, the vice president and I will be meeting with Republicans and Democrats to hear from everyone and we’ll be listening. We’ll be open to good ideas and good faith negotiations. But here’s what we won’t be open to. We will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction simply is not an option.
Now since I announced this plan, I’ve heard from my Republican friends say that it’s–many of them say it’s too big. They say why not focus on traditional infrastructure, fix what we’ve already got, the roads and the highways exist and the bridges. I’m happy to have that debate. But I’d like to tell you my view.
We are America. We don’t just fix for today. We build for tomorrow. Two-hundred years ago, trains weren’t traditional infrastructure either. Until America made a choice to lay down tracks across the country. Highways weren’t traditional infrastructure, until we allowed ourselves to imagine that roads could connect our nation across state lines.
The idea of infrastructure has always evolved to meet the aspirations in American people and their needs. And it’s evolving again today. We need to start seeing infrastructures through its effect on the lives of working people in America.
What is the foundation today that they need to carve out their place in the middle class, to make it, to live, to go to work to raise their families with dignity, to ensure that good jobs will be there for their kids, no matter who they are, or what zip code they live in.