White House uses Mitch McConnell’s state to highlight need for Biden’s infrastructure bill

The video highlights Eastern Kentucky residents’ difficulties in accessing clean water

Chantal da Silva@chantaladasilva
Wednesday 16 June 2021 16:40
White House uses Mitch McConnell's state to highlight need for Biden's infrastructure bill
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The White House has featured Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky as an example of the need for President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill.

Aimed at highlighting the need to address crumbling infrastructure in the US, the videos highlight the plight of Eastern Kentucky residents struggling to access necessities like broadband and clean drinking water.

In one video, BarbiAnn Maynard of Martin County, a clean water activist, complains of having to use bottled water for her daily needs because of difficulties in accessing clean tap water.

“This water disgusts me. I’m afraid of this water,” Ms Maynard says in the video, as she points to her kitchen faucet.

“We use bottled water for everything – for brushing our teeth, for washing our hands, for washing our face,” she says. “And when I take a bath, I don't get to use all the smell-good stuff until I've used my anti-bacterial soap for my body because of the bacteria that gets in our water through our line breaks.”

White House video uses Mitch McConnell’s state to highlight the need for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.

The local water system in Martin County, she says, is “on the edge of total collapse”.

In addition to difficulties accessing clean water, Ms Maynard also raised the issue of roads being hollowed out due to coal mining.

“The coal mines mined under our roads so there’s hollow spots,” she says. “There was no enforcement of the weight limit so they let the trucks drive overloaded on our roads.”

“There’s about 25 houses on the other side of that road and they have no bridge, no access in or out,” she says.

“People talk about ‘Eastern Kentucky is poor and they don’t really have anything,’” Ms Maynard says. “Well, how are we ever going to have anything if our government won’t invest in our infrastructure?”

“We're people too. We're American citizens and we deserve access to clean, affordable drinking water,” she says.

Mr McConnell has signalled some support for a bipartisan infrastructure package amid talks between Democratic and Republican senators.

The latest proposal from a bipartisan group of moderates seeks to dedicate $579 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next five years, according to Politico.

It is still unclear how the plan would be funded, however.

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