At a speech on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted the importance of the Senate passing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill as the U.S continues to compete with China.
“The Chinese and Russian governments, among others, are making the argument in public and private that the United States is in decline,” said Blinken. “Nothing would put to rest faster their specious argument about America’s best days being behind us than if the United States made serious investments in our domestic renewal right now.”
In February, President Biden told senators that Beijing’s infrastructure investments were far outpacing Washington’s, and warned that without similar investment, “[China is] going to eat our lunch.”
The Senate version, passed on Tuesday night, includes $550 billion in new funding for roads, bridges, railways, broadband and electrical vehicle technology, among other areas. Although it faces a rocky path in the House, this bill would be the largest infusion of federal investment into infrastructure projects in more than a decade, touching nearly every facet of the American economy.
Blinken also touted the importance of domestic and foreign policy being intertwined: “All distinctions between domestic and foreign policy have simply fallen away,” he said. “Our domestic renewal and our strength in the world are completely intertwined.”
“Getting a bipartisan infrastructure deal done and actually making these investments is incredibly important for the ability of the United States to compete internationally,” he added. “Now we’re actually on the cusp of making something happen” he concluded.