Biden announces Build Back Better plan, Ag Sec. says it’s good for rural America

WASHINGTON (AP & KVRR) – President Joe Biden says he has reached a “historic” framework with Democrats in Congress on his sweeping, though scaled-back domestic policy plan.

But he still must nail down votes from a few skeptical fellow Democrats.

Biden announced the framework at the White House after he traveled early Thursday to Capitol Hill to pitch House Democrats. The proposal is now $1.75 trillion and without a paid family leave program and other priorities.

But it’s still robust with new health care, free-prekindergarten and climate change programs. He wanted a deal before he departed in the afternoon for global summits in Europe. But votes are still a ways off, as lawmakers push for more.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says President Joe Biden’s slimmed down $1.75 trillion Build Back Better proposal would do great things for rural America.

He says the plan would give a record $27 billion for conservation to allow farmers and ranchers help improve our climate.

Vilsack adds $10 billion would be given to rural electric cooperatives to transition to renewable energy and possibly reduce costs to consumers.

He says now is the time for Congress to pass this plan because the U.S. needs to show the world it can lead on issues like climate.

“We need to improve our roads and bridges, our ports, our inland waterways, our airports, our rail systems. We need to invest finally and completely in expanded broadband access. And, so, it’s important for these bills to get through because all of those investments will not only strengthen our physical infrastructure, they would create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs,” Vilsack said.

North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer called President Biden meeting with Democrats to get them on board with the spending plan before going to the G20 summit in Rome “desperate” saying he’s trying to, quote, “get a whole bunch of Democrats to follow him over the political cliff.”

Categories: Politics / Elections