Biden to Appoint Group to Supervise Infrastructure Law Then-New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, attends the conference's 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton Jan. 25, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Monday, 15 November 2021 01:59 PM
President Joe Biden will appoint officials to help ensure enactment of the infrastructure law he is signing on Monday, Bloomberg reported.
The White House said that the task of the nine-member group, which will be led by both National Economic Council director Brian Deese and White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu, will be to supervise the dispersion of the money in the legislation according to the priorities of the administration.
Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, was named to his White House post over the weekend.
Projects involved in carrying out the infrastructure law must use American suppliers, offer union jobs, and be built to withstand the impacts of climate change. The group is also expected to ensure that projects adhere to the administration’s "Justice40" initiative, which requires at least 40% of federal investments to go to "disadvantaged communities."
Biden is also insisting that the panel, which he is establishing in an executive order, avoid a waste of funds by coordinating with state and local governments.
The signing of the infrastructure bill comes at a politically difficult time for Biden, with recent polls showing Americans feel pessimistic about the economy and Biden’s handling of it, according to Bloomberg.
Despite falling unemployment and rising wages, Americans are particularly concerned about a sharp rise in inflation, according to the surveys.
One example is a Washington Post-ABC poll released over the weekend showing that 70% of Americans view the economy negatively, with about half of those surveyed and political independents blaming the president for inflation.
Biden hopes to offset these negative views in the public by touting what he sees as the vast advantages of the infrastructure law. The president is scheduled to travel to New Hampshire on Tuesday and Michigan on Wednesday to promote the legislation, Bloomberg reported.
The infrastructure law allocates some $110 billion for roads and bridges, $66 billion for rail, and $39 billion for public transit.
In addition, $65 billion will go for connecting citizens to high speed internet, while $65 billion will be spent on the power grid and $55 billion on drinking-water systems.
In addition to Deese and Landrieu, the group is expected to include seven cabinet-level officials, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.