Congress inches closer to infrastructure deal; some West Virginians are divided

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As roadwork continues all across the country, so too, does the work in Congress to forge a deal on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. It would add even more bridge, road and highway projects to the mix.

“We find ourselves with the great work of the bipartisan group, at a great place, of a point at which we can discuss these,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R-WV).

The bill would also include billions to expand greatly needed broadband services in rural areas, especially in Appalachia. But to do all this, some believe there should be billions for so-called social infrastructure, which includes adult home health care, paid leave for workers and child-care.

“Well, I don’t think we can get people back to work if they don’t have the support. If you can’t afford childcare, if you can’t afford to have an education or make sure your family is well cared for, then those roads and bridges aren’t going to get people to work,” said Kelly Allen, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

But others believe social infrastructure could sink the whole bill.

“I think we should leave that stuff out. We should deal with issues on child welfare and tax policy for other legislation. We’re kind of getting to the point where we’re shoving trillions of dollars into a bill, that’s not related to that bill,” said Rep. Alex Mooney, (R-WV District 2).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will not do a traditional infrastructure bill unless it has funding for the social infrastructure programs.

“While the U.S. Senate could possibly wrap up its infrastructure bill this week, the House of Representatives will not be in Washington, DC for another five weeks.,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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