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MANCHESTER, N.H. – Transportation Secy. Pete Buttigieg’s travels throughout the nation to showcase the advantages of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package deal President Biden signed into legislation final month took him on Monday to the essential normal election battleground state of New Hampshire.
“The legislation represents a as soon as in a era funding in infrastructure and in jobs,” Buttigieg touted at a information convention, as he stood in entrance of New Hampshire’s all Democratic congressional delegation with the picturesque rapids of the Merrimack River as a backdrop.
The infrastructure measure, which incorporates greater than $500 billion in new spending for “core” infrastructure tasks corresponding to transportation, broadband web and electrical utilities over the following eight years, grabbed bipartisan help in passing the Senate over the summer time and the Home early final month.
Buttigieg, a former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has been crisscrossing the nation the previous couple of months, selling the infrastructure deal. He’s made 14 journeys up to now this yr to highlight the package deal, together with his group telling Fox Information many extra journeys are deliberate within the new yr.
Whereas the transportation secretary’s New Hampshire go to was an official journey, it may give a political bounce to Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01), who each probably face difficult reelections within the 2022 midterms, when their get together goals to guard its razor-thin majorities within the Home of Representatives and Senate amid a tough political local weather.
“I imagine that good coverage is sweet politics,” Buttigieg informed Fox Information. “I imagine that on the finish of the day, the entire level of campaigning and elections is that’s if you happen to win them, you get to manipulate.”
And he emphasised that “we really feel the duty and the chance of delivering for individuals who’ve been asking about and speaking about infrastructure for many years. We even have an opportunity to get it finished. And I do know that that’s a part of what it means to make good on the expectations of those that elected us.”
Public opinion polls point out that the infrastructure legislation is common with most People. Two-thirds of these questioned in a Monmouth College nationwide ballot carried out Dec. 2-6 stated they supported the legislation, with 31% opposed.
There was a predictable partisan divide: Greater than 9 in ten Democrats and two-thirds of independents gave the package deal a thumbs up, with simply over two-thirds of Republicans opposed.
However the legislation’s general recognition within the Monmouth ballot and different latest surveys doesn’t look like giving the president or his get together any bounce, as Biden’s general approval ranking stays underwater.
Buttigieg isn’t the primary excessive profile member of the Biden administration to parachute into New Hampshire to highlight the invoice.
The president made New Hampshire his first cease in showcasing the package deal on the day after he signed the invoice into legislation. Biden visited a bridge which for the previous eight years has been on state’s “crimson listing” of bridges in poor situation.
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation joined the president on the occasion final month, and teamed up with Buttigieg on Monday, the place the transportation secretary highlighted a $25 million transportation grant to town of Manchester.
Hassan, a former governor who’s working subsequent yr for a second time period within the Senate, informed Fox Information that her “focus continues to be on listening to the individuals of New Hampshire and delivering on the priorities that they discuss to me about.”
For Hassan, who’s a prime goal for Republicans as they attempt to regain the Senate majority, the infrastructure invoice will seemingly be a serious promoting level on the marketing campaign path. The senator, who’s been touting her skill to cross the aisle to get issues finished as she runs for reelection, was a part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who labored on the invoice.
“We handed a bipartisan infrastructure deal that may lastly repair our damaged roads, clear up our ingesting water, and deal with the existential menace of local weather change, and be sure that each neighborhood in our state has high-speed web,” she pressured at a speech Saturday at a serious New Hampshire Democratic Occasion fundraising gala. “After years of inaction from Washington, we’re lastly exhibiting People that our democracy works.”
Pappas can be being focused by the GOP as he seeks a 3rd time period in Congress.
He informed Fox Information that the infrastructure legislation is “clearly not concerning the subsequent election or politics. That is about delivering on the guarantees that we’ve all made and the reassurance that our communities want that we will come collectively and clear up issues.”
However anticipate Pappas, who sits on the Home Transportation Committee, to highlight the advantages of the package deal as he runs for reelection in 2022.
The Transportation Division notes that the legislation “consists of a minimum of $1.1 billion for the state’s roads, $225 million for its bridges, $126 million for its public transportation, $100 million for high-speed web, and $26 million for its airports.”
And a few of the $10 billion the legislation will spend nationwide to wash up contaminated ingesting water shall be headed to the Granite State, the place the difficulty is a prime concern.
However Republicans counter that New Hampshire isn’t getting its fair proportion of the infrastructure pot.
“New Hampshire ranks DEAD LAST in infrastructure funding, getting even lower than its a lot smaller neighbor, Vermont!” the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee pressured in an electronic mail on Monday.
And Andrew Mahaleris, the Republican Nationwide Committee spokesperson in New Hampshire and Maine, argued that Granite Staters “will reject Biden’s failed report on the poll field subsequent yr.”