Former Vice President Joe Biden has reportedly been actively meeting with his closest advisors in order to determine the right strategy to counter US President Donald Trump, including an infrastructure reform package if he decides to run in 2020.
The infrastructure reform initiative is being developed as a means to challenge Donald Trump‘s “Make America Great Again” campaign promise, CNBC reported. Trump promised to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and tunnels, however, Trump’s administration $1 trillion infrastructure plan has failed to gain traction.
Several of Biden’s allies have suggested to him that he should make this a personal issue for voters if he enters the Democratic primary race, according to people directly involved with the matter. Biden, according to those familiar with the conversations, was open to the idea of having infrastructure be one of the pillars of his campaign if he decides to run.
“We would approach this community by community. If you talk to somebody about the water in Flint, Michigan, or a bridge in Erie, Pennsylvania, you can personalize it. This is going to be a very important plank in what Joe’s going to be advocating,” a source who has spoken to Biden about infrastructure told CNBC.
Such a focus on infrastructure wouldn’t be new to Biden, who has said spoken in the past about the country’s need to increase infrastructure spending.
“Build, build, build, build… We built the transcontinental railroad, built a thing called the Erie Canal. […] Ladies and gentlemen, we always have to build. That’s who we are,” Biden said at an event hosted by CG/LA Infrastructure back in 2014.
Biden reportedly has taken a step back, asking his team to keep an eye what’s being proposed by other 2020 contenders and to take note if they are discussing how to go about paying for some of their ideas.
“He wants to be kept apprised with all these policy developments and one of these things that he cares about is their decision on how we are going to pay for it,” a Biden consultant told CNBC, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Biden’s advisor would not explain which specific ideas they’re tracking but cited the “eye popping” estimated price of the sweeping Green New Deal environmental policy plan, proposed by liberal freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The latest study by the American Action Forum think tank suggested that the climate change proposal could cost between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10 years. The Medicare-for-all plan, currently being championed by 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and others, has been estimated to cost from $32 trillion to $33 trillion.
Biden and his team reportedly have also been considering various other policies that the former vice president has supported in the past, including cutting taxes for the middle class and tackling income inequality, people with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC. These ideas have not been crafted into an official 2020 platform, but they remain under consideration to be part of his agenda if he were to run for president.
The date when Biden is expected to announce his participation in the presidential race remains unknown, as he has reportedly not yet made a final decision. He has publicly confirmed that he is in the “final stages” of deciding his next step. CNBC reported last month that Biden has been actively talking with top party donors about potentially entering the growing 2020 primary field, while also speaking with social media experts for guidance on how best to appeal to young voters online.Venezuela blackout goes into second day closing schools and workplaces