Last Wednesday, President Biden traveled to Covington, Kentucky to promote an infrastructure project made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure spending bill passed in 2021, appearing at an event featuring both Republican and Democrat lawmakers from both Ohio and Kentucky.
The backdrop for the president’s visit was the Brent Spence Bridge which links Cincinnati to Covington and is considered one of the busiest freight routes in the United States. Appearing with Biden at last Wednesday’s event were Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike Dewine and Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown.
Former Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman was also in attendance. Democrat Governor Andy Beshear and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell represented Kentucky at the event. Both McConnell and Portman were among the Senate Republicans who voted in favor of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Biden signed into law in 2021.
Since Kentucky Senator Rand Paul voted against the infrastructure bill, he was not among those attending the event that was designed by the White House to showcase the president’s supposed skill at gaining bipartisan support in Congress for his agenda.
During his sometimes-confused remarks, the president thanked McConnell for working across the aisle to help pass the $1.2 trillion boondoggle, telling the Republican “It wouldn’t have happened without your hand.”
Biden praised McConnell as “a man of his word,” noting that while he doesn’t agree with McConnell on much, Biden believes if McConnell gives his word, “you can take it to the bank.” He praised the embattled Republican leader for his willingness to “find common ground to get things done for the country.” Officials say that the Brent Spence Bridge currently carries more traffic than it was designed to support.
During a 2021 CNN town hall in Cincinnati, President Biden vowed to “fix that damn bridge of yours going into Kentucky.”
Last Wednesday, the White House announced that over $2 billion from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending would be used to upgrade “economically significant bridges” around the United States, including the Brent Spence Bridge.