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Rep. Gwen Moore Urges Democrats To 'Go For It' On Biden Infrastructure Plan

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore
Chuck Quirmbach
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) speaks at a news conference, as labor, clean energy and environmental representatives listen.

Count Milwaukee's U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore among the House Democrats who think their party should go it alone on a large federal infrastructure bill, if need be. President Joe Biden met with a Republican Senate leader Wednesday about a potential compromise, and the White House says the two plan to communicate again Friday.

The president wants to commit $1.7 trillion to infrastructure over the next eight years, while the Wall Street Journal says the GOP offer is at $928 billion. Though, critics say new spending would be only 30% of the lower amount.

At a Milwaukee news conference Wednesday, Moore said Democrats can use a special process called reconciliation to move ahead.

"We have an opportunity for two more reconciliations according to the budget rules, and I say, go for it! We've got to get something done. I mean the American people are suffering. They're hurting," she said.

Moore said there's an "expiration date on hemming and hawing." The Biden administration says clarity is needed by June 7, when Congress returns from its recess.

As for Republican complaints that the infrastructure proposal is too expensive and broad based, Moore said the GOP proposal would take money from the large COVID-19 relief bill that passed earlier this year.

"They just simply want to undo the rescue package that's already been encumbered, if it's not already spent, it's been encumbered. So, they are double counting money," said Moore.

Donnell Shorter, of the ATU (transit union) speaks during Wednesday's news conference.
Chuck Quirmbach
Donnell Shorter of the Amalgamated Transit Union speaks during Wednesday's news conference.

Moore appeared with environmental and labor activists who support Biden plan's push for more electric vehicles, including buses. Donnell Shorter is on the executive board of the Amalgamated Transit Union in Milwaukee.

"Some of the benefits of the electric buses would be our drivers wouldn't have to walk through a warehouse of 100 buses with diesel smoke in the air. Our maintenance department is ready for the challenge of electric buses and the new technology they bring," said Shorter.

The office of Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil sent a statement, in which the Janesville Republican said the Biden bill doesn't have a lot to do with infrastructure. Steil said the U.S. needs a "targeted, focused approach."

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