Touting his infrastructure law making investments in the nation’s ports to strengthen supply chains and bring down costs for American families, President Joe Biden visited Portsmouth Harbor in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
The 46th president said billions of dollars from the new law are being spent on rebuilding the nation’s ports and waterways, while helping to alleviate nationwide supply chain issues that, coupled with record high inflation, have driven up prices for many consumer goods.
“This port is open and it will be for a long time,” the Delaware Democrat said in remarks from the New Hampshire Port Authority. “A lot of important things come into these terminals, particularly this one. This port is responsible for 2,300 jobs and contributes $275 million to this economy.”
Portsmouth Harbor is one of the largest ports on the East Coast, handling more than 3.5 million tons and nearly $2 billion of cargo a year, according to federal data.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently completed an $18.2 million project to widen the harbor’s turning basin and is spending another $1.7 million to dredge the shipping channel, according to the White House. Money for the project comes from the $17 billion allocated from the new law for nationwide port upgrades.
The federal funding will also pay for a $2.3 billion project at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to increase its capacity to maintain nuclear submarines.
Biden signed the bipartisan $1 trillion spending bill in November and has made several trips around the country to highlight subsequent major investments.
He visited New Hampshire in November, giving remarks from an aging span bridge in Woodstock that is on the state’s “red list” of structurally deficient bridges.
Overall, New Hampshire stands to get more than $2.05 billion from the spending bill over the next five years, including at least $1.1 billion for highway upgrades and $225 million for bridges, according to a breakdown provided by the White House.
The Granite State will also receive at least $418 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure and at least $100 million to help provide broadband coverage. Another $45 million will be available to improve rail service.
The Biden administration’s Infrastructure Report Card gave the state a C- grade, saying there are 250 bridges and nearly 700 miles of highway in poor condition.
But Biden’s visit on Tuesday was also meant to shore up New Hampshire Democrats, who will be defending a U.S. Senate seat and two congressional districts in November’s midterm elections. New Hampshire is considered a key battleground state in Democrats’ efforts to hold onto their majority in Congress.
Not surprisingly, New Hampshire Democrats welcomed Biden’s second visit to the state since the 2020 election, saying it highlights what the infrastructure plan is doing for the state and the party’s agenda ahead of the midterm elections.
“While Republicans are focused on tax hikes and raising health care premiums, President Biden and Democrats are laser-focused on creating jobs, lowering costs, and improving our nation’s infrastructure like our roads, bridges, ports, and high speed internet,” spokesman David Pourshoushtari of New Hampshire Democrats said in a statement.
During his remarks, Baker repeatedly mentioned members of the state’s all-Democrat congressional delegation – including Reps. Maggie Hassan and Chris Pappas – and credited them for helping to push the infrastructure bill through Congress.
This article was originally posted on Biden touts infrastructure law during New Hampshire visit