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Politics

White House Calls Infrastructure Bill A Win For SD, Thune Calls It ‘Liberal Wishlist’

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The Biden Administration says its American Jobs Plan will improve infrastructure in South Dakota. 

Prominent Republican leaders like South Dakota Senator John Thune are clashing with the administration. Thune calls the bill a Trojan horse. 

The Biden-Harris Administration says infrastructure in South Dakota suffers from a lack of investment. 

However, Senator John Thune calls the administration proposal “a long wishlist of liberal priorities” disguised as infrastructure.

“One Democrat even tweeted, and I quote‚ ‘Paid leave is infrastructure. Childcare is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.’ Well, actually, Madam President, no they are not.“

According to the White House, 43% of South Dakotans live in an area where demand for child-care programs outpaces capacity.

The White House says childcare is not the only infrastructure issue in the state. A White House report says 15% of households do not have internet. The state’s drinking water infrastructure will require $730 million over the next 20 years. And the state experienced $10 billion in weather damages over the past decade.

These are a few of the issues the American Jobs Plan addresses in South Dakota.

Marty Walsh is the U.S. secretary of labor. He says the plan focuses on upgrading infrastructure in underserved areas of the country like South Dakota.

“I know some regions of the country where, I wouldn't say they were in a recession prior to the pandemic, but they weren't fully experiencing a robust economy such as we were in the East Coast and other places. So, with the American Jobs Plan, the president intends to make investments in places like workforce job training programs, and really thinking about how we move forward with infrastructure like broadband across the country, clean water and all everything that comes with that.”

Walsh says infrastructure problems impede South Dakota’s ability to compete in a global marketplace.