EXCLUSIVE: VP Harris says infrastructure bills a must because ‘things need to get better’

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News is hearing directly from Vice President Kamala Harris as the Biden administration fights to get two major infrastructure bills passed despite pushback from Republicans and even some Democrats.

One is a hard infrastructure bill. The other is a soft infrastructure bill.

On Thursday Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot spoke exclusively with Harris, who said the Biden administration wants both bills passed, but they can negotiate.

“I think the most important things we do is fix the problems right now, and a combination of the two would do that,” Harris said.

The hard infrastructure plan would cover things like road repairs, bridge replacement and rural broadband and passed the senate with bipartisan support.

“You know, roads and bridges are falling apart. In Georgia alone, there are 374 bridges that are in poor condition. That’s just the information I have,” Harris said.

But then there’s the more controversial “Build Back Better” plan. It’s getting pushback from Republicans and progressive Democrats.

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The bill would cover things like paid family leave and child care.

“Build Back Better is about saying, ‘Hey, let’s deal with what we need to address in terms of things like child care in Georgia.’ It’s a big issue again for working families, affordable child care, accessible child care,” Harris said.

Elliot contacted Georgia Republicans for comment, and they sent him a statement, which reads in part:

“The Democrats radical $3.5 trillion spending package will crush Georgians by killing jobs, lowering workers’ wages and shrinking the economy.”

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris should focus on solving the multitude of crises they’ve already created before creating yet another burden on Georgians.”

Harris said the Biden administration is dedicated to getting both bills passed.

“We have to deal with where we are as a country right now and we need to upgrade. Things need to get better and so we’re fighting for both of those bills,” Harris said.

Elliot attempted to contact Republicans and Democrats in Georgia’s congressional delegation.

He only heard back from Democratic Rep. David Scott, who said he’s committed to getting both the bills passed.

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