UPDATE: NEW ORLEANS, La. - President Joe Biden has now landed in New Orleans to tour the city's water and sewer system. He is scheduled to meet with New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, and newly-elected U.S. Congressman Troy Carter who succeeded Biden team member Cedric Richmond.

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UPDATE: LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — With a badly aging bridge as his backdrop, President Joe Biden stood in reliably Republican Louisiana on Thursday to pressure GOP lawmakers to support his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. But he also expressed a willingness to compromise on the tax hikes on corporations he's recommending to pay the cost.

Biden says this legislation would result in tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans to pay for new roads and bridges, like the Calcasieu River Bridge.

“One with six lanes, new interchanges, that’s safer, reduces congestion, it shouldn’t be this hard or take this long to fix a bridge that is this important,” said Biden.

Biden says over 80,000 vehicles a day use the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles and it’s one of 45,000 bridges in the US that are structurally deficient.

Republicans do not support Biden’s plan. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana says the President is promoting a budget-busting tax hike that will force middle-class jobs overseas. But Biden says his plan would result in over 16,000,000 American jobs and is willing to meet with GOP legislators to find common ground.

“I’m willing to hear ideas from both sides, I’m meeting with my Republican friends up in Congress to see number one how much they are willing to go for and their priorities and I’m ready to compromise,” said Biden.

The other issue surrounding Mr. Biden’s trip to Lake Charles is hurricane recovery. Local officials say Hurricane Laura devasted the region and Congress has yet to approve a disaster relief package. The President says he believes residents in southwest Louisiana need the help and he’ll make sure they get it.

“People of Louisiana have always picked themselves up, just like America always picks itself up, there’s no quit in America and there’s not quit in Louisiana in what I’ve observed,” said Biden.

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President Joe Biden is pushing the case for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan in the reliably Republican state of Louisiana as part of his American Jobs Plan.

The president has landed in Lake Charles.

 

Biden is challenging GOP lawmakers who say low taxes for corporations and the wealthy will fuel economic growth. A White House official says during Biden's visits to Louisiana he'll pose a basic question to voters about whether tax cuts for big companies and CEOs will make the country stronger than programs to bolster the middle class.

 

 

Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana calls Biden’s plan a “budget-busting tax hike.” The Democratic president will speak in the city of Lake Charles in front of the Calcasieu River Bridge, a bridge built in 1952 that's 20 years past its designed lifespan.

Later in the day, Biden will head to New Orleans to tour the city's water and sewer system.

(Story written by JOSH BOAK and JONATHAN LEMIRE/AP)

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