PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - U.S. Senator Bob Casey says now that the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is law, Congress needs to pass the president's Build Back Better plan.
In an interview on Tuesday with KDKA political editor Jon Delano, Casey said he's confident that all fifty Democrats, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, will join together to pass the bill.
While Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants the House to pass the Build Back Better plan this week, Pennsylvania's senior senator says it will take longer in the Senate. But in the end, Casey expects his colleagues, including Manchin, to be on board.
The new infrastructure law will pump billions of dollars into so-called hard infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, waterways, transit systems, the power grid, electric vehicle chargers, highspeed broadband and the like.
But it's the Build Back Better plan, says Casey, that is focused on families, children, students, and seniors. Universal pre-school and child care, a continuation of the monthly child tax credit payments into next year, more student loans and grants, lower cost health insurance and prescription drugs, more affordable housing units -- Casey says all these programs and more are needed now.
One senator who has been hesitant in support is neighboring West Virginian Joe Manchin. KDKA's Jon Delano asked Casey whether Manchin will vote yes.
"In my many conversations with Joe Manchin, he understands the need to invest in quality affordable child care. We've talked about that a lot. We've talked about early learning," says Casey. "I've talked to him specifically about home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities in the workforce that West Virginia is going to need and Pennsylvania is going to need to provide that kind of help."
Despite Casey's optimism, Build Back Better, which so far, every Republican opposes, requires every Democrat in the Senate to support.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now says he hopes the Senate will approve this measure by Christmas.
for more features.