‘Amtrak Joe’ Biden pushes infrastructure in Philadelphia By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Biden participates in a car rally in Duluth, Georgia


By Nandita Bose

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – President Joe Biden visited an Amtrak train station Friday to promote his $ 1.9 trillion infrastructure proposal. The US is “way behind” in improving its transportation network and needs to do so in order to keep up with China.

Biden spent some time in an Amtrak car at Philadelphia’s 30th Street station before going down to make remarks. It was a moment of nostalgia for Biden, who as a US Senator spent years commuting between his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware and Washington by train.

He was introduced in Philadelphia by Amtrak CEO William J. Flynn as “perhaps one of Amtrak’s most loyal customers”.

The visit was part of Biden’s “Getting America Back on Track Tour,” a tour he started in Georgia on Thursday. More trips are expected next week. The stops are designed to add momentum to its $ 1.9 trillion infrastructure proposal and a separate American Families Plan of $ 1.8 trillion.

Biden said America’s transportation system needs an overhaul, including more high-speed rail lines like the one China has developed.

“We are way behind the rest of the world at the moment. We have to remember that we are in competition with the rest of the world,” he said.

The Democrat is asking Congress for $ 80 billion to improve train travel, one of numerous initiatives included in infrastructure, climate, childcare and other billions of dollars in proposals. Biden tries to move through a heavily divided Congress.

The expenses would be paid for with higher taxes for the rich and corporations.

Republicans and even some Democratic lawmakers have opposed the price.

Former President Donald Trump, who Biden defeated in November’s elections but remains influential among Republicans, predicted in a phone interview with Fox Business Network Thursday that higher taxes would encourage some companies to move abroad .

Biden has long been associated with Amtrak, commuting daily on the 90-minute train ride between Washington and his home in Wilmington, Delaware for decades when he was a U.S. Senator.

The government-funded railroad is asking Congress for $ 31 billion over the next five years to expand the northeast corridor between Boston and Washington, DC

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