President Joe Biden promoted his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan and his proposal to invest $174 billion to grow the U.S. electric vehicle market with a visit Tuesday to the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
“My name is Joe Biden, and I’m a car guy,” the president said at the start of his speech. He later got behind the wheel of an all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck.
In his speech, Biden again said his proposed investments are necessary to catch up to China in the race to lead the electric vehicle sector. Biden said that the United States used to lead the world in research and development investments, but that the country now ranks eighth, and China is No. 1.
“The future of the auto industry in electric. There’s no turning back,” Biden said. “The real question is whether we’ll lead or we’ll fall behind in the race to the future. Or whether we’ll build these vehicles and the batteries that go in them here in the United States or rely on other countries. Or that the jobs to build these vehicles and batteries are good-paying union jobs with benefits, jobs that will sustain and grow the middle class.”
Biden’s plan includes funding to expand the network of electric charging stations and would provide rebates and incentives for Americans to buy electric cars.
Biden slams Trump: Biden also knocked former President Donald Trump for not passing an infrastructure bill and for allowing his administration’s series of “infrastructure weeks” to become a joke. “They announced infrastructure week,” Biden said. “And they announced it and announced it and announced it and announced it. Every week for four years, didn’t do a damn thing.”
Touting a bipartisan approach: Biden touted his Oval Office meetings with Republicans and said he believes he can reach a bipartisan deal on an infrastructure package and was waiting for a revised counterproposal from GOP senators, which is expected to be delivered today or tomorrow. “We made on thing clear: We’ll compromise, but doing nothing is not an option,” he said.
Some Republicans have objected to Biden’s proposed funding for electric vehicles and the initial $568 billion counteroffer presented by a group of GOP senators focused more on fixing roads and bridges. Republicans have also rejected Biden’s proposal to pay for infrastructure spending by raising corporate taxes.
Negotiations on an infrastructure package continued even while Biden was in Michigan, as a group of administration officials including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo were slated to meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.