Negotiations continue over federal infrastructure bill; West Virginia plays a key role

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Finding the money to finish Corridor H, and finding the money to finish the King Coal Highway and the Coalfields Expressway.

Those are the top infrastructure priorities in West Virginia, as well as fixing many of the dilapidated bridges in the Mountain State.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito is one of the key Republicans trying to work out a deal with the White House to fix the problems here. She doesn’t like President Biden’s plan:

“He adds on a whole, huge, very expensive social infrastructure. Medicaid, home health, building schools, building houses. Things that are worthy to talk about, but we don’t feel the are really appropriate,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.

The President’s bill also contains billions for solar and wind, clean energy projects. He wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations, to pay for the whole package, which Republicans oppose. The president’s plan also expands federal funding for child care.

“The Republican Party proposal is really throwing the baby out with the bathwater, literally. We need roads and bridges, but to get to work, we also need to be able to afford child care,” said Gary Zuckett, West Virginia Citizen Action.

The biggest difference is in the price tags. President Biden’s bill calls for 2-point-3 trillion dollars, with the Republican package costing 568-billion. that’s a 1-point-7 trillion dollar difference.

“Both sides agree there is room for give and take, and a chance at compromise. Like so many issues in the U.S. Senate these days, it may come down to the key swing vote of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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