BETTENDORF, Iowa — Senator Joni Ernst (R) says the infrastructure plan proposed by President Joe Biden is too focused on things that go beyond the scope of 'traditional infrastructure.' She was in town on her annual 99-county tour of Iowa.
"The plan proposed by President Biden is largely focused on things we don't typically think of as infrastructure. So only 6% of this so-called infrastructure plan only focuses on roads and bridges," said Ernst.
While $621 billion dollars of the proposed package is set to go towards roads, public transit, bridges, electric vehicle infrastructure and other transportation infrastructure, most of the $2.3 trillion plan does go toward other things, including $111 billion toward replacing lead water pipes and old sewers; establishing nation-wide broadband internet for another $100 billion; and more towards modernizing schools and hospitals.
"I wish that President Biden would come back to us and say, you know what? Folks, come together in a bipartisan way [and] craft legislation that focuses on infrastructure. Not a lot of fancy, extraneous policies that the democrats want to see. Let's focus on the infrastructure," said Ernst.
She brought up her work in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the last congressional session, when the bipartisan body passed a water resource bill and a highway reauthorization bill on a 21-0 vote.
When it comes to Bettendorf, Senator Ernst says she's working with community leaders and Secretary Buttigieg to help get an elevator on the I-74 bridge. The city had plans to install one between the park underneath up to the pedestrian walkway. Because of a Buy-American policy, the elevator needs to be purchased from a domestic supplier.
"The particular type of elevator that the city would like to see installed is not available from a domestic source, so we are working [on] the waiver issue with your city leaders," said Ernst.