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American Jobs Plan: What does it do for pedestrians?

Pres. Biden's proposal makes plans to revamp transportation infrastructure. We asked Sec. Buttigieg and Sen. Bennet what it does for pedestrians and cyclists.

DENVER — How you get around Colorado in the future is going to be up for debate in Washington, D.C.

President Biden recently announced his American Jobs Plan, which if approved by Congress, it would come with significant money for transportation projects throughout Colorado.

However, the fact sheet provided by The White House, which is 34 pages when copied into Microsoft Word, only includes references to walking, cycling and multimodal three times.

"It's all over the plan, although you might see it expressed in different words, one of those words is safety. We've got a lot of funding and a lot of focus on making sure that people can get around safely," said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

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Buttigieg spoke with Next with Kyle Clark about the transportation funding portion of the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan.

"We want to promote ways of getting around that also reduce congestion and reduce strain on the system. Some folks are saying this isn't real infrastructure because it's not only about moving cars down roads," said Buttigieg.

Does promoting ways of getting around mean eliminating car lanes?

"A lot of times if there were better transit options to get around, then people wouldn't have the need to bring two tons of metal along with them when they're going somewhere," said Buttigieg. "There are plenty of places where a road needs to get bigger, but there may be places where a road would actually be better off if it were changed in terms of its configuration so that there were ways to get around more safely on two wheels, as well as with four."

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When asked about the lack of alternative methods of transportation in the president's fact sheet, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) said it is up to Congress to put the words in the legislation.

"I'm not surprised that you didn't see every word in the 34 pages, but when you search the final legislation, the legislative language, I'm sure a lot of that language will be in there," said Bennet. "We should no longer be coasting on the generosity of our parents and grandparents, who were kind enough to build roads and bridges that we now use, but that we don't even maintain, much less build the infrastructure our kids are going to need to compete in the 21st Century."

The president's version would rely on an increase to the corporate tax rate for 15 years to cover the $2 trillion cost.

"The president has proposed raising the corporate tax rate up to 28%. For most of our history, it's been at 35%. For the last couple of years, because of the Trump tax cut for the wealthy, it dropped to 21%. The Biden administration is proposing taking it up to 28%," said Bennet. "People should stay tuned over the coming months to see where we end up and where we ultimately land."

The corporate tax rate is the amount that the United States taxes profits on U.S corporations.

"Let me start by making clear who's not going to be paying more taxes, and that's anyone making under $400,000 a year. The president's made clear that this plan is about making sure that corporations pay their fair share," said Buttigieg. "There are more than 50 major corporations, often making billions of dollars in profits, and paid zero in federal taxes, that's just not right. We're not talking about going to some unreasonably high tax level, 28% is still lower than it's been for most of my lifetime, but it's enough for this bill to be fully paid for within 15 years."

Getting 10 Republicans to join 50 Democrats to vote in favor of eliminating a tax cut voted into law by Republicans is a stretch.

The Senate passed a COVID relief package in March with a simple majority, which is not the norm.

"It's, I think, impossible to know today what either the spending side of this bill will look like or the revenue side will look like. What I can predict is that I believe we will pass a major infrastructure bill, and I hope it will be one that we pass with bipartisan support," said Bennet.

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