Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that President Joe Biden’s more than $2 trillion infrastructure plan doesn’t go far enough.
“I think that the vision that President Biden and the administration has laid out, you’re right, has surprised a lot of us in a positive way. And in the detail and the thought that’s here, the scope of it is really encouraging, except, I think, the how, that $2.2 trillion, $2.25 trillion over eight years, I have serious concerns that it’s not enough to realize the very inspiring vision that Biden has advanced,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an appearance on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
“So, I believe that those of us here, especially as progressives within the Democratic Party — we know that there is so much more opportunity here. In order for us to realize this inspiring vision, we need to go way higher. That’s what’s going to help us actually deliver on this really promising and inspiring vision the president laid out today.”
Biden’s $2 trillion plan promises to “fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems” and “deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.”
But the plan is set to be implemented over an eight-year period, a timeline Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t believe is fast enough.
“I think that we need to really have some shorter timelines, some urgency, greater urgency in this package, and I think some of the investments need to be greater,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The New York Democrat also took issue with the amount of spending, arguing that an ideal plan would cost about $10 trillion.
“We’re looking at ideals and what we think is the actual investment that can create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country that can shore up our healthcare, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon figures to help us get in line with IPCC standards. We’re talking about realistically $10 trillion over 10 years,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
While Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged that her $10 trillion price tag may give some sticker shock, she insisted that the country could afford it.
“I know that may be an eye-popping figure for some people, but we need to understand that we are in a devastating economic moment,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Millions of people in the United States are unemployed. We have a truly crippled healthcare system and a planetary crisis on our hands. We’re the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So we can do $10 trillion.”
But while Ocasio-Cortez believes the plan should be even bigger, the proposal already faces fierce opposition from Republicans.
“I’m going to fight them every step of the way because I think this is the wrong prescription for America,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of the plan.
At issue are provisions in the bill that would raise taxes on corporations, an idea not warmly received after the party recently passed former President Donald Trump’s sweeping tax cuts.
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“We’ll have a good-faith negotiation with any Republican who wants to help get this done,” Biden said of Republican opposition to the plan. “But we have to get it done.”
Photo Caption:Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., questions Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool via AP)