Federal infrastructure spending plan talks continue, lead pipe removal an issue

Jun 3, 2021
Originally published on June 3, 2021 8:36 am

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are among those waiting to see if a deal can be cut between the Biden administration and Republican leaders on a major infrastructure bill. 

President Joe Biden met for nearly an hour Wednesday with the top Republican negotiator on infrastructure, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

Time is running out to strike a bipartisan deal, but they have agreed to reconnect Friday.

The president is proposing $1.7 trillion for roads, bridges and other investments.

The Republicans countered last week with $928 billion, and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said tapping unspent COVID-19 aid is "key" to reaching a deal.

Biden has already sized up that offer as unworkable. The administration says the deadline for making progress toward a deal is June 7. 

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) is optimistic the Biden administration can reach an agreement on a major infrastructure bill with Congressional Republicans.

One sticking point for Kildee is replacing lead pipes for drinking water.   

The Biden plan calls for spending $45 billion to replace millions of lead service lines across America. 

The Republican plan has no money specifically for lead pipe removal.

“I talked to the president about lead pipes about a week ago and he was absolutely insistent we’re going to get rid of every lead pipe in America,” says Kildee.

Kildee supports reaching an agreement.  But he says he’s against something that doesn’t get the job done in the name of bipartisanship.

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