Mississippi governor says Biden’s infrastructure plan will lead to economic challenges, including job loss


FILE – Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves delivers his State of the State speech on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Jackson, Miss. Congress just sweetened the incentives for states to extend Medicaid insurance coverage to more low-income adults, but the dozen Republican-controlled states that have spent years resisting expanding the programs have no plans to change course now. Gov. Reeves says he’s not going for it, noting that his stance was a major issue in his 2019 campaign. His GOP primary opponents supported a plan to expand, with the state’s share being paid for by hospitals and a fee of up to $20 a month for people who signed up. He opposed it, even as the Mississippi Hospital Association said it could bring up to 19,000 jobs to the state. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, file)

WASHINGTON — Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves spoke out against the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan saying it would lead to serious challenges for the economy.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Reeves admitted the state could use the money from the federal government to improve roads and bridges, but not to the tune of $2 trillion. Instead of an infrastructure plan, Reeves called the plan a “$2 trillion tax hike plan,” that would lead to economic challenges, a slowing gross domestic product (GDP) and the loss of American jobs.

“This plan spends $110 billion on roads and bridges and spends more than that on the combination of Amtrak and public transit. And what’s even worse, it spends $100 billion on clean water, which Mississippi could certainly use, but it spends more than that on subsidizing electric vehicles. One hundred and fifty-five billion dollars to subsidize electric vehicles. That is a political statement. It’s not a statement on trying to improve our infrastructure in America. And so it looks more like the Green New Deal than it looks like an infrastructure plan,” Reeves told host Jake Tapper.

He encouraged the Biden administration to work with all lawmakers to find a solution that America can afford.

“If the Biden administration will do what the president has said he wants to do, which is work with Republicans, I believe we can come up with a plan that we can afford, one that we can pay for and one that truly invest in the infrastructure needs of this country,” he said.

“Infrastructure is a core function of government. It is something that the federal government, the state government and local government should spend more of our resources on. But we don’t have to hike taxes by two trillion dollars to do it,” he added.

Infrastructure has been a key issue in Mississippi for some time with the latest report from the American Society of Civil Engineers giving the state an overall “D+” in 12 categories. The lowest scores of “D-” were reported for the state’s bridges and roads.

Released in April 2020, the report found that nearly 40 percent of major roads in Mississippi’s urban areas are in poor condition. In 2018, approximately 9.4 percent of bridges in the state were “structurally deficient.” The national average is around 7.6 percent.

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