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Biden Touts Infrastructure, Manufacturing Growth in State of the Union

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In his third State of the Union address, President Joe Biden highlighted achievements of his term so far, many of which created significant numbers of jobs, including several infrastructure and construction programs.

Most of his March 7 speech to a joint session of Congress centered on domestic issues, but he also announced one construction-related overseas action.  

Biden said he had directed the U.S. military to lead “an emergency mission” to build a temporary pier on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza to receive needed shipments of humanitarian aid and supplies for Palestinians held in that war-torn region.

But the main focus of his address was a recounting of what he and his fellow Democrats view as achievements.

He cited his support for Buy America, telling the gathered legislators, “On my watch, federal projects that you fund—by helping build American roads, bridges and highways—will be made with American products and built by American workers.”

Biden also pointed to the CHIPS and Science Act, which he said has resulted in private companies “investing billions of dollars” in the U.S. for semiconductor factories.

Unsurprisingly, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—or the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill as administration officials refer to it—also was on the list. Biden said the measure, now about halfway through its five-year span, has supported 46,000 new projects so far.

He tweaked Republican lawmakers who voted against it, saying that despite those votes, they have been “cheering on that money” flowing to projects in their states or districts. Biden added, “If any of you don’t want that money in your district, just let me know.”

Biden provided few details related to construction of the Gaza pier, but earlier in the day, administration officials held a background briefing on the plan. 

One senior official told reporters that the pier, described as the port’s main feature, would be able to handle large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters. 

The official said establishing the port “will take a number of weeks to plan and execute.” The source said, “The forces that will be required to complete this mission are already in the region or will begin to move there soon.”

During his address, Biden said the temporary pier “will enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza.”

Regarding the expected U.S. military presence, he said, “No U.S. boots will be on the ground.”

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