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Biden names Mitch Landrieu to oversee $1T infrastructure plan

Biden names Mitch Landrieu to oversee $1T infrastructure plan
Mitch Landrieu, the former New Orleans mayor, has been named by President Joe Biden to oversee the execution of the $1 trillion infrastructure plan. File Pool Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A head of President Joe Biden signing his historic $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday, the White House announced he tapped Mitch Landrieu, a former New Orleans mayor, to oversee its implementation.

In a statement late Sunday, the White House said Landrieu, 61, will act as senior advisor to the president under the title of infrastructure coordinator of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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In his new position, he will be tasked with coordinating investments that will create millions of jobs while overhauling the nation's infrastructure from roads and bridges to airports and ports.

"Landrieu will oversee the most significant and comprehensive investments in American infrastructure in generations," the White House said.

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The White House highlighted Landrieu's experience as mayor of New Orleans from 2010-2018 and lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 2006-2010 as experience that makes him fit for the job.

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In a statement, Landrieu thanked Biden for the appointment.

"Our work will require strong partnerships across the government and with state and local leaders, business and labor to create good-paying jobs and rebuild America for the middle class," he said. "We will also ensure these major investments achieve the president's goals of combating climate change and advancing equity."

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The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been a major policy of the Biden administration, which passed the Senate in early August but stalled in the House until it was passed earlier this month in a 228-206 vote with 13 Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues.

The Biden administration has framed the $1 trillion bill, which includes $550 million in new federal spending, as a "once-in-a-generation investment" that is part of the president's Build Back Better Framework to create jobs, grow the economy and the middle class and aid the nation in meeting its climate goals.

Under the bill, the government will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water, $65 billion to ensure every American has access to high-speed Internet, $110 billion in new funding to repair roads and bridges and support major transportation projects and $89.9 billion in funding for public transit, the largest federal investment in public transit history.

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It also includes the largest federal investment in passenger rail and largest dedicated bridge investment, among other benchmarks, and is forecast to create 1.5 million jobs a year over the next decade.

Biden in a cabinet meeting on Friday compared the act to the Recovery Act of 2009 that he oversaw the implementation of as vice president under the Obama administration.

He said under his oversight there was a minute amount of funds lost to waste and fraud and the same will be excepted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

"It is my intention to see to it that the act we just passed and we're going to sign on Monday ... meets the same standard. We owe it to the American people to make sure the money in this infrastructure plan and the Build Back Better plan -- which, God willing, we're going to be able to still finish -- will be able to be used for purposes it was intended," he said.

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