Biden Touts Infrastructure Bill Benefits for NH in Portsmouth
President Joe Biden touted the benefits of his infrastructure plan and touched on a few other topics during his trip to Portsmouth on Tuesday afternoon.
The president gave credit to Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas, two Democrats running for re-election in this year's mid-term election, for being key figures in making the plan a reality. Biden said the plan helped modernize the port facility and create jobs for the Seacoast region.
"Maggie was a key player in the Infrastructure Law. And it’s making a difference here in New Hampshire and, I might add, around the world. She made the case for high-speed internet everywhere in New Hampshire and protecting New Hampshire’s coastlines from rising sea levels and extreme storms, and for the investments in New Hampshire’s roads and bridges, ports, and waterways," Biden said.
$1.7 million was used to dredge the Portsmouth Harbor shipping channel and turning basin near Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River.
"And he’s a member of the committee that got this bill across the finish line," the president said about Pappas. "Getting big ideas into an actual bill is hard work, requiring getting into the nitty-gritty details and without losing the big picture."
Biden pointed out the importance of the port in Portsmouth such as road salt, most of the home heating oil used in New Hampshire, and reactor assemblies for nuclear power plants that are manufactured by Westinghouse Electric.
He also credited Hassan and Pappas for pushing for the turning basin that makes it easier for ships to get in and out of the port.
Biden recalled his November visit to the deteriorating Route 175 bridge that crosses over the Pemigewasset River in Woodstock to tout the road infrastructure part of the bill.
"We’re making historic investments in fixing these bridges," Biden said. "This year alone, we’re delivering $45 million to fix your bridges here in New Hampshire. This year alone."
"This port supports over 2,300 jobs, adds $275 million to this region’s economy, and that’s not even counting the more than 6,000 civilian contractors and jobs over at the Navy yard," Biden said.
The president blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for inflation and talked about prescription drug prices and lowering the federal budget deficit. He also talked about how his million barrel a day release from the strategic oil reserve is helping with the price of gas.
Pappas and Hassan, along with 2nd District Rep. Annie Kuster, were on hand along with Gov. Chris Sununu to welcome the president. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was represented by her husband William, as she was part of a congressional delegation headed to Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, & Belgium.
Portsmouth mayor Deaglan McEachern introduced Biden before he spoke, calling it "the honor of a lifetime."
About two dozen protesters also greeted Biden on his ride to the harbor with signs that read "Forgive Student Debt," "Trump won" and "Let's Go Brandon."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH