WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined CNN’s Dana Bash to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure deal reached today by a group of senators, led by U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and the White House.
Full audio and video available here. A transcript is provided below.
Q: You were a part of the larger group of 20 bipartisan senators who have been meeting on this. Tell us your thoughts about the impact and the import about what we just heard from the president and your colleagues at the White House.
Sen. Coons: Well, Dana, this is a great day for President Biden, for the determined group of ten Democrats and Republicans who you just heard from – from Kyrsten Sinema and Rob Portman, from Joe Manchin and Susan Collins and others who have been hammering away at this for days and days. And now the work begins to build it out, to make sure that beyond the 21 of us who have publicly been supporting it and urging them along, we get more supporters in both caucuses. Over the next eight years, this represents $1.2 trillion in investment and infrastructure. That really is a big deal. And this framework has $ billion in new spending. To get an agreement on that on a bipartisan basis took a lot of very hard work. So I just want to congratulate the folks who were just over at the White House with President Biden. This is a significant accomplishment. Something that should not go unremarked is that the Senate of the United States also just passed in the last hour and a half a bold bipartisan bill on climate change in the agriculture sector. Senator Stabenow and Senator Braun were the leads on this. There are good bipartisan things happening here in the Senate. I do think for us to accomplish most of President Biden's boldest agenda in the American Jobs Plan and Family Plan, we will still have to proceed by reconciliation – which I support. But as you just heard, a Republican senator from Louisiana celebrated the White House. This package has $47 billion to do climate resiliency work. It is great to hear Democrats and Republicans legislating together around something as urgent as combatting climate change and as significant as creating great high-paying jobs, building American infrastructure for this century.