Can Infrastructure Bring These Political Polar Opposites Together?


DOMINATING THE CONVERSATION ON
CAPITOL HILL, BUT CONGRESS IS
ALSO DEALING WITH OTHER ISSUES,
LIKE INFRASTRUCTURE. COLLAPSING ROADS AND BRIDGES,
UNSAFE DRINKING WATER, AND
RUNDOWN SCHOOLS ARE PROBLEMS
THAT BOTH PARTIES SAY WE NEED TO
FIX, BUT LIKE MANY PROBLEMS
FACING REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, THEY DON’T AGREE ON A
SOLUTION. NOW CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS
HAVE REACHED COMMON GROUND ON AN
INFRASTRUCTURE BILL THAT WOULD
INVEST IN AMERICA’S POOREST
COMMUNITIES. DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN LACY
CLAY OF ARIZONA AND MIKE KELLY
OF PENNSYLVANIA, NICE TO HAVE
YOU BOTH. VERY RARELY DOES A LIBERAL
MEMBER OF CONGRESS AND A
CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF CONGRESS
SIT DOWN AND COME UP WITH BILLS
TOGETHER>>WE BOTH UNDERSTAND
ARE SO MANY UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES. WHILE THE ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
HAS CHANGED, IT HASN’T CHANGED
FOR EVERYBODY IN THE SAME WAY,
AND WE ARE LOOKING AT THE INNER
CITIES AND SAYING, WHY DON’T WE
FIND A WAY TO FUND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND
REDUCE THE DEBT TO TAKE THE
BURDEN OFF THE AMERICAN
TAXPAYER, AND GOOD THINGS ARE
HAPPENING. REP: CLAY: WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT
IT, WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ALMOST TWO
YEARS. WE THINK THIS LEGISLATION WILL
HELP KICKSTART THAT DISCUSSION,
THAT DEBATE, AND IT WILL GIVE
SOME SUBSTANCE TO WORK AROUND. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE INNER
CITIES THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTRY,
THEY HAVE BEEN HOLLOWED OUT. THERE HAS BEEN A LACK OF
INVESTMENT ALL OF MY LIFE. IN ST. LOUIS, FOR INSTANCE, WE
HAVE SEEN SERVICES WITHDRAWN
FROM THOSE AREAS. WE THINK THAT THIS LEGISLATI
WILL GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO
PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITI
FOR IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITIES
AROUND THIS NATION. SOLEDAD: HOW DOES IT WORK? REP. CLAY: WE ARE LOOKING AT
UNDERPERFORMING DISTRICTS AND
SAYING, WE HAVE A LOT ON THE
BOOKS. THERE IS $2 TRILLION THAT
TREASURY IS HOLDING THROUGH
AGRICULTURE. SOLEDAD: IT MEANS PEOPLE HAVEN’T
BEEN PAYING THEM BACK FOR AT
LEAST 90 DAYS. REP. KELLY: THEY ARE VALUED AT
MUCH HIGHER THAN THEY ARE
ACTUALLY WORTH ON THE MARKET,
AND FOR MOST OF US, WE WOULD
LOOK AT ANY OF OUR BALANCE
SHEETS AND SAYING, I HAVEN’T ASKED THAT, BUT IT’S NOT WORTH
OUR THOUGHT IS, IF YOU CAN TAKE
THOSE UNDERPERFORMING NOTES, GET
THEM TO MARKET YOUR PEOPLE CAN
TAKE A LOOK AND INVEST IN THOS
IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THE PRICE THEY ARE ON THE BOOKS APP, BUT
IT IS GOING TO BE REAL MONEY WE
CAN USE FOR REAL THINGS. REP. CLAY: THIS IS FISCALLY
RESPONSIBL
50% GOES TO PAY DOWN THE
NATIONAL DEBT AND 50% GOING
TOWARDS NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE
IMPROVEMENTS. SOLEDAD: DO YOU THINK BECAUSE
YOU GUYS ARE SUCH POLAR
OPPOSITES POLITICALLY THAT THAT
IS GOING TO ENCOURAGE YOUR
COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE
AISLE TO SAY, IF THEY’VE BEEN ABLE TO FIGURE IT OUT, WE CAN
SUPPORT THIS? REP. CLAY: WE WOULD HOPE SO. THAT IS WHY I JUMPED AT THE
OPPORTUNITY WHEN MIKE BROUGHT IT
TO ME AND OTHERS AND SAID, THIS
IS A WAY TO ATTRACT ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT TO YOUR COMMUNITIES
WHO SORELY NEED IT. I HAD TO GO FORWARD BECAUSE IT
WAS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE
PEOPLE THAT I SERVED, AS WELL AS
THE PEOPLE HE SERVES. REP. CLAY: IT DOESN’T MATTER
THAT HE’S IN THE BLACK CAUCUS
AND I’M IN THE REPUBLICAN STUDY
COMMITTEE. WHAT DOES MATTER IS WHEN
AMERICANS CAN LOOK AT THEIR
GOVERNMENT AND SAY, THIS IS
WORKING BECAUSE WE HAVE THE
RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT PLACE
AND ON THE RIGHT ISSUES, AND THEY ARE WORKING FOR US. THIS GUY IS EASY TO WORK WITH. SOLEDAD: IT’S LIKE A LOVE
CONNECTION. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT ELSE
YOU GUYS WORK ON. REP. KELLY: IT COULD GET REALLY
BIG. SOLEDAD: THANK YOU FOR COMING TO
TALK TO ME. ANNOUNCER: COMING UP

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