SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal held a news conference Thursday morning addressing President Biden’s announcement of a major infrastructure package and its impact on Massachusetts.
President Biden’s announced his infrastructure package, the “American Jobs Plan”, on Thursday. It would cost 2.25 trillion dollars. To pay for the plan, Biden’s proposing in part raising corporate taxes to 28%. Congressman Richard Neal, Chairman of the Way and Means committee, says he’s open to other suggestions along with that outline.
“The one thing we can all agree upon is the crumbling nature of the nations infrastructure and the investments that he proposed yesterday are long overdue,” Congressman Richard Neal told 22News.
22News spoke with Congressman Neal about how it may help western Massachusetts. The plan could modernize 20,000 miles of highways, mainstreams and roads and expand transit and rail into new communities with 85 billion dollars. Neal says their is an opportunity for the East-West rail, which is estimated to cost two to five billion dollars, to receive funding from this plan. But that it’s up to Governor Baker to lobby for it.
Additionally, the plan includes funding for veterans facilities. Neal noted how important that money could be for places like the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. “18 billion dollars for modernization of our veterans affairs hospitals an clinics. I don’t have to remind you all of what happened right up the street in Holyoke,” Neal said.
President Biden’s plan includes fixing bridges in America. 22News asked Congressman Neal if any of those are in western Massachusetts. He said Governor Baker and the state would have to propose it to the federal government in order to receive funding to fix bridges.
“Bridges in places like Great Barrington that are blocked and we can’t use them and I think that this is what we want to fundamentally address,” Neal continued.
Biden said economists predict that his plan could create 18 million jobs. Neal hopes that the House of Representatives passes the bill by their August break.