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President Biden set to pitch infrastructure package in Louisiana

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 3:18 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 7:48 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden is making his first trip to Louisiana Thursday since taking office. The president is looking to shore up support for his big ideas on the Gulf Coast. When President Joe Biden touches down in Louisiana Thursday it is go time for him to convince folks his wide ranging $2 trillion infrastructure package will pay off in the state.

“There has to be action. His only red line in this discussion is inaction,” said Chris Meagher, White House deputy press secretary.

The president is not just sticking to politically friendly regions on his trip, visiting the more liberal New Orleans but also deeply conservative Lake Charles. Meagher says infrastructure impacts every district in the country.

“It’s not Republicans who drive on our roads, it’s not only Democrats who drive on our roads. Everybody drives on our roads, everybody hits those potholes,” said Meagher.

Rep.-elect Troy Carter (D-LA) will not officially become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives until May 11, but he says he is meeting with the president on his trip to New Orleans. Carter thinks it is smart that the president is focusing on his state as he pitches his infrastructure proposal. The president will visit the Carrollton Water Plant during his pitch in New Orleans.

“We have people that have been in his ear talking about the importance of infrastructure needs in Louisiana. We’re just very honored that he’s started this tour in New Orleans or Louisiana,” said Carter.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is skeptical of the administration’s proposal, saying the package is too broad and the price tag too high. He says the president needs to speak directly to workers on this trip about his push to move away from fossil fuels in this proposal. Oil and gas are key industries and job creators in the region.

“Right now people who are in oil and gas feel as if he’s got a bullseye on their job. So I’m hoping that he can answer questions as well as give his own message,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy plans to accompany the president on the trip. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) says he has scheduling conflicts and will not meet with the president Thursday. But he says he will relay his concerns about the infrastructure package through his staff, a package Higgins says needs to focus more on repairing roads and bridges.

“We’re going to be looking for some commitment out of the president’s office that will help Louisiana when it comes to infrastructure,” said Higgins.

It is slated to be just a day trip to Louisiana for the president. He will return to the White House Thursday evening.

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