President Joe Biden will proceed with his scheduled trip to Pennsylvania to push infrastructure legislation just hours after a snowy bridge on the outskirts of Pittsburgh collapsed. 10 people were injured but there were no deaths. Biden will visit Mill 19, once a major metals producer that has shifted its focus to automation and robotics.
According to NBC:
The White House is looking to use the trip to promote the $500 billion infrastructure law passed last year, which it sees as one of its key selling points for the midterm elections as it kicks off efforts to bolster Democrats on the ballot.
Two of the three leading Democrats on Pennsylvania’s statewide ballot this spring — Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a leading Senate candidate; and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the likely Democratic nominee in the race for governor — had not planned to attend due to scheduling conflicts, the Associated Press reported.
The absence of the two officials comes as Democrats are assessing how to navigate an unpopular president in the upcoming elections. Biden ended his first year in office with his job approval rating at 43 percent, according to an NBC News survey. Six in 10 respondents in the poll said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, while more than half gave him low marks on dealing with the Covid pandemic.
A White House official said Biden would also use the opportunity to convince Congress to pass a bill meant to increase competitiveness with China.