WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 14: (L-R) Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Mayor Denver Mayor Michael Hancock talk to reporters outside the West Wing following a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of city and state political leaders about infrastructure at the White House on July 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Vice President Kamala Harris, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Labor Secretary Martin Walsh also attended the meeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met with a group of governors and mayors on Wednesday as he seeks to build support for a massive federal infrastructure package awaiting action from Congress.
Among the state and local leaders meeting with Biden was Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democratic candidate for Ohio governor. Others joining Biden in the Oval Office were Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Ariz. and Michael Hancock, of Denver, Colo.
Whaley also serves as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of 369 mayors sent a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to swiftly vote on the infrastructure funding agreement reached last month.
The mayors touted that $1.2 trillion proposal as a long-term investment that would “help make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just.”
Biden has called for a “dual-track” approach to infrastructure.
He’s urging votes on not only the framework for infusion of more money into road, bridge, transit and other traditional infrastructure projects but also a second measure that would include new money for “human infrastructure” programs like expanding access to child care and education.
Passing both proposals through Congress will be tricky. Democrats have only slim majorities in each chamber, leaving little room for losing any support within their own caucuses.
“We have a chance to solve these problems, a bipartisan chance to solve these problems. Create millions of jobs—literally,” Biden told the mayors and governors as Wednesday’s meeting began, according to a pool report.
“Time to stop talking about it and time to get you the resources,” Biden added.
Ohio signers of the letter urging Congress to act on the infrastructure package include:
- Dan Horrigan of Akron
- Thomas Bernabei of Canton
- John Cranley of Cincinnati
- Frank Jackson of Cleveland
- Andrew Ginther of Columbus
- Frank Whitfield of Elyria
- Christina Muryn of Findlay
- Don Patterson of Kettering
- David Scheffler of Lancaster
- David Berger of Lima
- Jack Bradley of Lorain
- Timothy DeGeeter of Parma
- Joe Begeny of Reynoldsburg
- Mary Ann McDonald of Trotwood
- Bradley Sellers of Warrensville Heights
- Jamael Tito Brown of Youngstown
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