US Farmers are all in on Biden's infrastructure plan
France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal
The diplomatic row came over a broken contract by Australia to buy French submarines in the wake of a new security pact by Australia, the US and the UK.Philippe Étienne, France's ambassador to the United States, and his counterpart in Australia were recalled to Paris "for consultations" at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's minister for Europe and foreign affairs.
Formersent in a bid to win over America's farmers -- but now they're all for , in hopes it will mean fixing roads and bridges critical to the delivery of food to the rest of the nation.
The bill could be a big bipartisan win. It was drafted by lawmakers from both parties and passed the Senate with, but its fate remains uncertain with Democrats divided over tying it to a larger $3.5 trillion spending package.
GOP Senate candidates backed Trump in trashing bipartisan infrastructure deal
Republican Senate candidates mostly opposed bill to send billions to their states to fix roads, bridges, internet JD Vance, venture capitalist and author of 'Hillbilly Elegy' Drew Angerer/Getty Images
"We'll take as much money the federal government can send our way and I would say almost every state is in a similar condition," said Bill Panos, the director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, who also serves as the president of the Western Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.
Panos has a 10-year plan for North Dakota that is projected to cost $2 billion just to maintain existing infrastructure -- about the amount in federal funding the state expects to receive for road and highway investments if the bill passes. North Dakota's senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven, both Republicans, voted for the bill.
"These are the kinds of projects that bring food from the farm to your grocery store," Panos added.
GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation
House Republicans have an opportunity to enhance the nation’s infrastructure and reduce the chances the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill will ever become law. © Greg Nash Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) answers questions on Afghanistan, the budget and the infrastructure bill during her weekly press conference on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. The American people strongly support spending on physical infrastructure, a degree of support buttressed by hurricane Ida's destructive flooding earlier this month.
Iowa farmer Dave Walton is a prime example of where the problems are. During the fall harvest, he drives his soybeans east to a terminal on the Mississippi River, where a barge will eventually deliver them down to the Gulf of Mexico. But that first leg of the trip takes Walton a lot more time than it used to.
"We have to detour in several places now because the bridges are in disrepair and the weight limit has lowered," Walton said, adding, "It can be miles and miles out of the way."
Poor infrastructure is causing delays and costing farmers money across the country. Roads are getting worse as farm equipment is getting bigger. The problem is made even worse by extreme weather events and the stresses the pandemic has put on the supply chain, leading to shortages of everything from
Waiting on Congress
Progressive Democrats don't want to vote for the widely popular infrastructure bill without also voting to passthat would remake a lot of the country's social safety net system -- and also likely
'This is it': For Biden's domestic agenda, the moment of truth
“Dems fear Biden’s domestic agenda could implode,” said Politico. “Joe Biden’s Domestic Agenda Is In Serious Danger,” warned Vanity Fair. CNN was blunt: “If Joe Biden fails this week, his entire domestic agenda is done for at least 15 months.” The White House has dismissed such claims as doomsaying clickbait, but there is still a low-grade anxiety coursing through the West Wing. © Provided by Yahoo! News President Biden during a meeting in the East Room of the White House on Friday. (Sarahbeth Many/the New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images) For much of September, President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and $3.
As currently written, the infrastructure legislation would invest $110 billion in roads and bridges, $39 billion in public transportation, $66 in passenger rail, $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports -- among several other things. The bigger spending bill focuses more on Biden's social policies, including an expansion of the child tax credit, a paid leave benefit, universal pre-K and free community college.
And one proposal that angered farmers has been dropped from the House version of the bill following criticism from many farm trade groups. It would have taxed unrealized capital gains to help pay for the bill, affecting those who want to pass down their farm to the next generation -- though the White House said it would exclude family farmers.
Johnathan Hladik, the policy director at the Center for Rural Affairs, argues that Congress should fix the basic, traditional infrastructure before tackling other issues.
"First things first, let's just fix the basic problems. We have to travel long distances here just to live our daily lives," Hladik said.
Why is there so much drama over the infrastructure vote in the House?
Passing bipartisan legislation aimed at repairing America's bridges and roadways is finally within reach of lawmakers. So is the vote in trouble?Members of both political parties have been striving to pass infrastructure legislation for years. They reached a breakthrough this year when Senate Republicans, Democrats and President Joe Biden came together to create a bill that funded roadways, bridges, public transportation and expanded broadband. It passed the Senate 69-30 in August.
Waterway delays cost $44 million a year
The Mississippi River provides a cost-efficient and environment-friendly way to move and export farm produce and manufactured goods -- but many of the locks are older than the 50 years they were designed to last. While improvements have been made recently, delays still cost $44 million a year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
A lock closure could cause a major problem, backing up barges with no other way to go until it's fixed.
"The locks are showing their age. The real big worry is having a failure at one of these sites during harvest season," said Mike Steenhoek, the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.
The infrastructure bill would provide the much needed funding to improve the inland waterway system, as well as to expand the nation's broadband system -- a potential boon for people living in rural America. There's hope that improving infrastructure can revive rural communities, which have been losing population over time.
"In order to retain population and grow you're going to need infrastructure," said former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, who currently serves as director of agriculture for the tax consulting firm alliantgroup. "You're not gonna live somewhere you can't stream Netflix."
Indian town on edge after 9 die during farm protest .
LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Indian authorities suspended internet services and barred political leaders from entering a northern town Monday to calm tensions after nine people were killed in a deadly escalation of a yearlong demonstration against contentious agriculture laws. Four farmers died Sunday when a car owned by Junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra ran over protesting farmers in the Uttar Pradesh town of Lakhimpur Kheri, officials and farm leaders said. Mishra said his driver and three members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party who were in the car were all killed by the protesters in the violence that broke out after the incident.