He also says the President & Congress need to find a way to pay for it.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
New York, Md (KM) President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9-trillion infrastructure plan needs to be more narrow in focus. That’s according to Governor Larry Hogan who was a guest Monday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We need to right size the proposal, define infrastructure and figure out what that cost is and figure out the pay-fors. That’s really the main sticking point,”: he says.
Last week, President Biden introduced the American Jobs Plan that includes fixes for the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, which are roads, bridges, highways and the electric grid. The nearly $2-trillion price tag includes $115-billion to repair roads, bridges and highways; $100-billion to expand high speed broadband across the entire country; $100-billion to upgrade and build new schools; and $100-billion to expand and improve power lines and spur a shift to clean energy.
Governor Hogan said there is strong support for repairing the nation’s infrastructure among both Democrats and Republicans. But it’s important to define infrastructure. “Anything that we talk about building, repairing either physically or digitally, you could stretch to about half of about what the package is. But the other staff really has nothing to do with infrastructure,” he says.
President Biden has proposed paying for his infrastructure package through an increase in the corporate tax from 21% to 28%. Republicans have balked at any taxes, and have proposed their own infrastructure package. The $568-million plan includes $299-billion for roads and bridges; $61-billion for public transit; $20-billion for rail; $35-billion for drinking water and wastewater; $13-billion for safety; $44-billion for airports; $65-billion for broadband; and $14-billion for water storage. The GOP has called for repurposing funds already appropriated by Congress. It also wants to partner with state and local governments and look to private sector investments and financing.
Governor Hogan says the President’s proposal should be split out into individual bills. “I think that’s one of the main reasons why we should separate out all of this other ‘family infrastructure’ they’re talking about and all these massive tax hikes on tax rich and corporations and set that aside for a later debate, while we focus on infrastructure which is something that Republicans and Democrats do agree on, and where we can find common ground to get it done,” he says.
Last week, the Governor held a summit in Annapolis where elected officials from both parties presented ideas for improving the nation’s infrastructure. Hogan said private sector funding and investment is available. “There’s trillions of dollars of private sector capital willing to invest in infrastructure. So it’s not just about taxing folks,” he said.
By Kevin McManus