‘Audience at a Kid Rock concert?’: Cori Bush and AOC hit out at whiteness of infrastructure group

‘Audience at a Kid Rock concert?’: Cori Bush and AOC hit out at whiteness of infrastructure group
Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal criticised for not properly considering people of colour

Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have hit out at the lack of diversity in the group of senators who were involved in bipartisan infrastructure negotiations.

“Is this the Bipartisan Infrastructure Group or the audience at a Kid Rock concert?” Ms Bush wrote in a tweet on Wednesday, followed by #NegotiationsSoWhite.

The bipartisan group agreed a roughly $1tn infrastructure plan after weeks of negotiations. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 67-32 to advance the bill.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez also hit back at the negotiations ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

“Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin – especially after choosing to exclude members of colour from negotiations and calling that a ‘bipartisan accomplishment,” wrote in response to comments from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who helped lead the negotiations.

Joe Biden’s “historic” bipartisan infrastructure deal will include “$550 billion in new federal investment in America’s infrastructure”.

According to the White House, it aims to “grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just,” Mr Biden estimates that some 2 million jobs will be created per year in the next decade as a result.

Democrats and Republicans have disagreed over some points of the deal, including those on water infrastructure, transit, broadband and highways and bridges, a Democrat source told CBS News.

The deal does not hit the mark for progressives including Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who criticised the bipartisan agreement for not considering the working classes, women and people of colour enough. She has previously condemned the lack of diversity among the Senate negotiators.

“The exclusion & denial of our communities is what DC bipartisan deals require. That’s how you get GOP on board: don’t do much/any for the working class & low income, or women, or poc communities, or unions etc. We must do more,” she tweeted on 24 June.

Commentators have highlighted that America’s infrastructure is entwined with racial inequity and classism, the nation’s interstate highway system, for example, has historically uprooted poor communities and of communities colour for the construction of roads.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg noted: “There is racism physically built into some of our highways,” in comments to The Grio in April.

Critics say a new deal should not just fix the nation’s current infrastructure, it should consider how this affects the divisions between communities.


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