Biden names former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to lead infrastructure plan

Mr Mitch Landrieu led New Orleans from 2010 to 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Joe Biden has named former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to oversee the implementation of the US$1 trillion (S$1.35 trillion) infrastructure plan, the White House said on Sunday (Nov 14).

Mr Landrieu, also a Democratic former Louisiana lieutenant-governor, led New Orleans from 2010 to 2018. He played an important role in helping the city rebound from devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Mr Biden will sign the infrastructure Bill on Monday, named Mr Landrieu senior adviser responsible for coordinating implementation of the Bill that includes big jumps in spending on roads, bridges, rail, airports, transit, ports, broadband Internet and removing lead pipes.

Mr Biden held a similar role as vice-president under then-President Barack Obama, overseeing an US$800 billion 2009 economic stimulus package.

Mr Biden said on Friday: "We owe it to the American people to make sure the money... (is) used for purposes it was intended."

Mr Landrieu said the "work will require strong partnerships across the government and with state and local leaders, business and labour to create good-paying jobs and rebuild America for the middle class."

The House of Representatives passed the US$1 trillion package earlier this month after the Senate approved it in August.

Mr Biden has vowed to build 500,000 EV charging stations with US$7.5 billion in the Bill and use US$65 billion to make "high-speed Internet accessible to every American, rural and urban."

A separate US$1.75 trillion proposal aims to expand the social safety net in the United States and boost climate-change policy.

Mr Biden has spent the past few months promoting the merits of both pieces of legislation. The White House has said they will not add to inflationary pressure

The infrastructure Bill had become a partisan lightning rod, with Republicans complaining that Democrats who control the House of Representatives delayed its passage to ensure party support for the social policy and climate change legislation, which Republicans reject.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.