‘The dean’ meets with Biden, has concerns about infrastructure bill

President Biden met with lawmakers in the Oval Office Monday to discuss infrastructure. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, had a seat near Vice President Harris. (Photo: White House)

President Biden invited Republicans to the White House Monday in an attempt to win support for his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, and he took special notice of Rep. Don Young.

“We got the dean here. Don Young is here. We got the dean, so everything is going to be all right,” Biden said at the start, before media were excluded from the Oval Office. “But all kidding aside, I’m prepared to negotiate as to the extent of my infrastructure project, as well as how we pay for it.”

Young is called “the dean of the House” because he’s its most senior member.

Young is no stranger to big infrastructure bills. He authored a major one that became law in 2005, when he was chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It was a record-breaker at the time. But, at less than $300 billion, Young’s SAFETEA-LU bill was a fraction of what Biden is proposing.

Young, according to The Washington Post, has concerns about the scope of the bill.

“Roads, bridges, and ports are undoubtedly infrastructure, and I believe that energy grids, broadband, and clean water can fit the definition as well,” Young said, according to the Post. “But I have concern that moving too far beyond this could sink the bill.”

Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media is our partner station in Anchorage. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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