CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Two critical bills to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure appear to be stalling in Congress.
One of the bills would spend a trillion dollars on upgrading U.S. roads, bridges and highways, commonly referred to as physical infrastructure. The second bill would provide nearly two trillion dollars for childcare assistance, daycare and home care for seniors, known as social infrastructure. Some critics call both bills too expensive.
“We are opposed to it because it will drive inflation, it will raise taxes on the middle class, and we urge the people of West Virginia to reach out to Senator Manchin and encourage him to have the courage to stand up to his own party and status quo in Washington, ”said Jason Huffman, Americans for Prosperity of WV.
But advocates for social infrastructure say it makes no sense to build roads if one cannot help parents get to work.
“Well, people need childcare to get to work. If we want people back at work, then we need childcare. But there’s some childcare support in this,” said Gary Zuckett, West Virginia Citizen Action Group.
In Washington, Senator Joe Manchin remains the main swing vote, but he wants to know the overall economic impact before committing his vote in either way.
“I’m very worried about inflation. I’re constantly hearing from West Virginia residents that the price of gas and going to work is very hard on them. The price of groceries,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) of West Virginia. .
A two-part Senate passed the bill on physical infrastructure, but so far Parliament has blocked it due to lack of social infrastructure.
“It’s been sitting in the house since summer. Very frustrating for me because I think we could have already started on projects that we desperately need,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.
Right now, the bill also includes money to greatly expand broadband, especially in rural states like West Virginia.
“As for when there may be a vote in Congress, the reconciliation vote is still being drafted and you can not have a vote until it is done,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.
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