President Joe Biden gets briefed by Liz Sherwood Randall, Julie Rodriguez and participates in a conference phone call with governors affected by the snow storm in the middle of the country in the Oval Office, February 16, 2021, in Washington. Photo: White House/ZUMA Wire/dpa

(dpa) – US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a massive plan to modernize infrastructure, including the largest jobs programme the country has seen since World War II.

The approximately 2-trillion-dollar package is a “once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done,” Biden said in Pittsburgh, in the state of Pennsylvania.

The plan is expected to “create millions of good jobs,” with the White House comparing the size of the investment to when America “won the space race.”

Biden said the plan was necessary to position the United States to “out-compete China,” emphasizing that “we have to do it.”

The package includes the modernization of around 32,000 kilometres of roads, 10,000 bridges, more airports, and electric mobility.

Part of the programme is also dedicated to improving the quality of “crumbling” water systems, electrical grids, high-speed Internet and to quality housing.

“Put simply, these are investments we have to make,” Biden said. “Put another way, we can’t afford not to.”

Biden will need to push the plan through the US Congress. During the election, the Democrats had spoken in favour of a large package to improve infrastructure.

However, for the adoption of such a package, the president will need the approval of around 10 Republicans.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately rejected the plan.

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