Photo: Vice President Kamala Harris
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / CC
Published April 26, 2021
By Christian Wade [The Center Square contributor] –
Vice President Kamala Harris touted the American Jobs Plan during a visit to New Hampshire on Friday, calling it a “once-in-a-generation” investment in America’s future.
Speaking at an event in Concord, Harris said passage of the $2.25 trillion jobs plan will mean good-paying jobs and federal money to help rebuild the state’s crumbling roads and bridges, but also rebuild the nation’s economy.
“Yes, it’s about rebuilding roads and bridges, it’s about child care and a number of other things,” Harris said. “But it’s also about understanding that if we’re going to build back better, America has to invest in the skills of our workforce.”
Earlier in the day, Harris was greeted at Laconia Municipal Airport by Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, and Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas.
She visited an electric cooperative in Plymouth, where she talked about the jobs plan with Hassan, and later toured the IBEW Local 490 office’s in Concord before giving remarks. She was expected to return to Washington on Friday evening.
The Biden administration has been crisscrossing the country trying to sell its infrastructure and jobs plan, as it builds support in Congress for its passage amid Republican opposition.
A fact sheet released by the White House recently said New Hampshire’s infrastructure “has suffered from a systematic lack of investment” and touted how the state would benefit from the plan. The statement noted aging roads and bridges, many of which are in a state of disrepair, as well as a lack of affordable housing and broadband internet service.
Harris reiterated those claims during her stops in Concord and Plymouth on Friday, saying the plan would mean solutions to some of the state’s cyber-infrastructure woes.
Biden’s plan would be financed by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and other tax changes targeting large corporations.
Republicans are opposed to the plan and have criticized it’s broad definition of infrastructure which includes major drinking water, child care and caregiving expenditures.
First lady Jill Biden visited New Hampshire briefly last month to highlight the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan – which was signed by the president last month.
Besides selling the jobs plan, Harris’s visit to the Granite State has fueled speculation that she could seek the presidency in 2024. New Hampshire hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential primary and is considered a major testing ground for any candidate.
In a fundraising email blast on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, Harris called on supporters to donate to the party, which she said is promoting the jobs plan and “setting Democrats up to expand on our wins in 2021, 2022, and beyond.”
To be sure, Harris is no stranger to New Hampshire’s retail, shoe-leather politics. As a presidential candidate ahead of the 2016 Democratic primary, she visited the state several times to stump for votes and support. She dropped out of the race shortly after, and was tapped by Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.
“We are thrilled to welcome Vice President Harris to New Hampshire,” the state’s Democratic Party said in a statement. “Granite Staters are already seeing the positive impacts of the Biden-Harris administration.”
The state Republican Party criticized her visit to New Hampshire, suggesting that she was visiting the “wrong border” in reference to the immigration crisis along the Mexican border.
“As you travel over 2,300 miles away from El Paso, our country would be better served with an official visit to our southern border, not a campaign trip for Hassan,” the New Hampshire GOP’s posted on social media.
Harris’ visit also drew criticism from Republicans and conservative groups who ripped the jobs plan and criticized the vice president for promoting it.
Greg Moore, state director of Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire, called the plan a “more of a partisan wish list for special interests than improving our roads and bridges.”
“If Vice President Harris wants to ignite our economy and improve our infrastructure, she should reject this partisan, profligate proposal and focus on helping people keep more of what they earn and unleashing private investment for our infrastructure needs,” Moore said in a statement.