Buttigieg pitches infrastructure needs to divided Congress Delaware China Indiana Tom Carper Joe Biden

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is warning that the county’s infrastructure needs exceed $1 trillion and that other countries, namely China, are pulling ahead of the U.S. with their public works investments, a scenario he describes as “a threat to our collective future.”

Buttigieg is set to appear before a House panel Thursday, part of an opening gambit to sell Congress on President Joe Biden s infrastructure plan. Congress just passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, but Buttigieg is expected to tell lawmakers that a broader economic recovery will require a national commitment to fix and transform America’s infrastructure.

He calls the coming months “the best chance in any of our lifetimes to make a generational investment in infrastructure,” according to prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press.

“Across the country, we face a trillion-dollar backlog of needed repairs and improvements, with hundreds of billions of dollars in good projects already in the pipeline,” he says.

Buttigieg will also emphasize new investments to curb climate change.

“Every dollar we spend rebuilding from a climate-driven disaster is a dollar we could have spent building a more competitive, modern and resilient transportation system that produces significantly lower emissions,” Buttigieg says. “We all live with the damage that has been caused by a history of disinvestment and the resulting unmet needs that are only growing by the day.”

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