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Biden visits Kansas City to underscore benefits of $1.2T infrastructure plan

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Biden visits Kansas City to underscore benefits of $1.2T infrastructure plan
President Joe Biden speaks about the new $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority on Tuesday. Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden traveled to Kansas City on Wednesday to promote the new $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and explain how it's going to create thousands of jobs in places like the Midwest.

Missouri is expected to reap close to $8 billion for brick-and-mortar infrastructure projects as a result of the package, and the state of Kansas is expected to see $3.2 billion.

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"Here in Kansas City the possibilities are unlimited," Biden said. "You've got the fastest growing port in the Midwest. You're in the heart of the Heartland for freight rail, for transforming your airport. You're building a national hub, creating a cycle of jobs and growth that will be -- be felt for decades, making the right investments. And you have the money to do it now."

Mid-America Regional Director of Transportation and Environment Ron Achelpohl said the new funds can make a sizable impact on U.S. infrastructure needs.

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"It's probably a generational investment," Archelpohl told KBMC-TV. "It's the largest spending in infrastructure spending that I've seen in my career."

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Biden, who did not carry Missouri in the 2020 presidential election, sold his vision to residents who are skeptical of the infrastructure bill's size.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., voted against the bill for that reason.

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"This bill has the wrong priorities," Hartzler told KBMC-TV. "It's going to further fuel inflation and it's a gateway to the giant spending bill the president wants to pass next."

In his speech, Biden promised that through the bill's size it would create good union jobs to complete tasks such as replacing all of the nation's led pipes and service lines.

"You're going to need tens of thousands of plumbers and pipefitters making a union wage to do this and get paid a prevailing wage with benefits, the ability to build a middle-class life," he said.

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He added the bill would make high-speed Internet "affordable and available everywhere in America" noting lack of access in Kansas and Missouri.

"Access to high-speed Internet unlocks opportunity everywhere," Biden said. "It allows farmers in Kansas to use precision agriculture to improve their yields, or a doctor in St. Louis to have a remote check-up with a home-bound cancer patient."

This week in Washington

Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

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