STATE-RUN TV: NBC Airs Ad for Pricey Biden Plan to ‘Rebuild America’

NBC’s Sunday Today show dutifully offered nearly five minutes of pure Biden administration propaganda in an effort to sell the President’s massive infrastructure spending plan, hailing the proposal as an effort to “rebuild America” and comparing it to the New Deal. Republican objections of it being “too expensive” were quickly brushed aside as predictions were made that Democrats would just force through the over $2 trillion package anyway.

“Fresh off the passage last month of nearly $2 trillion worth of COVID relief, the Biden administration this week announced an even bigger plan,” host Willie Geist excitedly proclaimed at the top of the segment. He touted how “The proposed new legislation would spend more than $2 trillion to modernize the country’s aging infrastructure and do much more” and hyped Biden declaring the plan to be a “once in a generation investment in America.”

 

 

Correspondent Vaughn Hillyard hoped the President would keep “the promise decades unfulfilled” of the federal government funding infrastructure projects across the country. As the headline “America’s Crumbling Infrastructure” blared across the screen, Hillyard assured that Biden was coming to the rescue:

Aging, leaking water pipes, unstable dams and tunnels. More than 40% of public roadways in poor or mediocre condition. More than half of public schools in need of renovations. And nearly half of the country with no access to public transit. This week, President Biden laying out a $2 trillion proposal to rebuild America.

The reporter then casually threw around huge sums of taxpayer money:

His plan, $100 billion to modernize the power grid and avoid blackouts, like this winter in Texas. $100 billion to expand broadband access to all Americans. Another $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools. Then there’s $621 billion for transportation infrastructure.

Hillyard became even more enthusiastic as he promoted “ambitious green initiatives to tackle climate change, including tax credits to make it easier for Americans to buy American-made electric vehicles and funding for 500,000 new charging stations.”

After briefly noting Republican opposition to controversial tax hikes proposed to pay for the legislation, the reporter saw a repeat of the New Deal on its way: “At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, signing off on a cache of new government programs and public work projects. America has not invested in a mass infrastructure effort like this in nearly a century.”

Hillyard stressed: “Now after campaigning in 2020 on unity, Biden’s administration pleading with Republicans to negotiate this deal.” Talking to Geist live moments later, he highlighted how “progressive Democrats say this plan doesn’t go far enough, they’re calling for trillions more in investments” while lamenting that “not a single” member of the GOP “has stepped forward to offer their support yet.”

No matter, he concluded, Democrats could shove the plan through Congress regardless: “But the attention will largely focus in on Democrats, with narrow majorities in the House and the Senate, they could pass this if every Democratic member gets on board….Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to have this passed by July 4th.”

The so-called “news report” was a joke. It amounted to nothing more than a recitation of talking points written up by the White House communications team.

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Here is a full transcript of the April 4 segment:

8:18 AM ET   

WILLIE GEIST: Fresh off the passage last month of nearly $2 trillion worth of COVID relief, the Biden administration this week announced an even bigger plan. The proposed new legislation would spend more than $2 trillion to modernize the country’s aging infrastructure and do much more. The President calls the plan a “once in a generation investment in America.” Republicans say it’s too expensive. NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard digs into the details in our Sunday Focus.    

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: America’s Crumbling Infrastructure; President Biden’s Ambitious $2 Trillion Plan to “Build Back Better”]

VAUGHN HILLYARD: It’s the promise decades unfulfilled.

JOE BIDEN: We’ll build back better. With modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports.

HILLYARD: An acknowledgment of what’s apparent to neighborhoods across the country. Aging, leaking water pipes, unstable dams and tunnels. More than 40% of public roadways in poor or mediocre condition. More than half of public schools in need of renovations. And nearly half of the country with no access to public transit. This week, President Biden laying out a $2 trillion proposal to rebuild America.

BIDEN: It’s big, yes. It’s bold, yes. And we can get it done.

HILLYARD: His plan, $100 billion to modernize the power grid and avoid blackouts, like this winter in Texas. $100 billion to expand broadband access to all Americans. Another $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools. Then there’s $621 billion for transportation infrastructure. That money for bridges like this one here in West Virginia, one of more than 45,000 bridges designated as structurally deficient and in poor condition by the federal government. Problems so big, local and state governments just can’t afford to fix them.

MAYOR AMY GOODWIN [CHARLESTON, WV]: We’re in the water, we’re not just drowning. We just don’t need President Biden to pass us a life raft, we’re underwater, we need him to send in a submarine.

HILLYARD: The plan also looking beyond repairs and upgrades to the future. With ambitious green initiatives to tackle climate change, including tax credits to make it easier for Americans to buy American-made electric vehicles and funding for 500,000 new charging stations.

The package, also an investment in the creation of jobs. In manufacturing alone, more than 500,000 Americans employed before this pandemic have still not returned to work. The President hopes to help pay for the sweeping plan with a 28% corporate tax rate, an increase Republican leadership immediately pushed back on.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL [R-KY]: I think that package that they are putting together now, as much as we would like to address infrastructure, is not going to get support from our side.

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT: As I look on Bonneville Dam today –

HILLYARD: At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, signing off on a cache of new government programs and public work projects. America has not invested in a mass infrastructure effort like this in nearly a century. Now after campaigning in 2020 on unity, Biden’s administration pleading with Republicans to negotiate this deal.

PETE BUTTIGIEG [TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY]: We’re probably the third administration in a row to arrive with the American people expecting big things on infrastructure. I think this time we can actually get it done.

GEIST: And Vaughn Hillyard joins me now live. Vaughn, good morning, good to see you. As you point out in the piece, many Republicans agree the country’s infrastructure does need attention, but they oppose this plan almost across the board. So what are their specific objections here?

HILLYARD: Hey, good morning, Willie. That’s right, progressive Democrats say this plan doesn’t go far enough, they’re calling for trillions more in investments. But as for Republicans, well, not a single one has stepped forward to offer their support yet. The party’s Senate leader Mitch McConnell calling this a Trojan horse for Democratic tax hikes. And in fact, Biden does propose an increase in the corporate tax rate to help pay for this plan.

But the attention will largely focus in on Democrats, with narrow majorities in the House and the Senate, they could pass this if every Democratic member gets on board. They could pass this without any Republican support, much like they did this last month on that COVID relief package. Willie, what Joe Biden does not want on this plan or in the years to come, though, is stalemate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to have this passed by July 4th. Willie?

GEIST: Yeah, it could be another party line vote. Seems to be the way business is done in Washington these days. Vaughn Hillyard at the Capitol. Vaughn, thanks so much.

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