VP Harris visits Milwaukee, touts infrastructure plan and efforts to replace lead pipes

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Vice President Kamala Harris touted the effects of the bipartisan infrastructure plan, especially on water infrastructure, during a visit to Milwaukee on Jan. 24.

Harris visited the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership-Big Step facility on the city's west side where she met with residents affected by lead pipes as well as workers who replace them.

The bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year includes $15 billion to remove and replace lead pipes around the country over the next decade. Wisconsin will get $140 million this year for water infrastructure with $48 million of that amount going to lead pipe replacement.

"This is an issue about public health," Harris said in remarks. "It is about developing the skills to do the work that must be done to strengthen the United States of America and our infrastructure."

Harris was joined by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

Republicans reacted to Harris' visit by saying they support prioritizing infrastructure but criticize the Biden administration's plans to pay for those projects.

"We need to be investing in our infrastructure, we just need to have a plan to pay for it," Republican Congressman Bryan Steil told CBS 58 in an interview. "And so what we've seen this administration do is to continue to spend money in a reckless manner, and what that's doing is driving up the costs of everyday goods."

The infrastructure plan includes measures to help pay for it but the Congressional Budget Office reported it would add to the nation's deficit over the next 10 years.

But Harris said the benefits in health and job growth for the country make the projects worthwhile.

"These investments will address the needs of our children, these investments will result in improved public health, the creation of more jobs," Harris said. "And it is simply the right thing to do."

The VP's stop in Milwaukee was the first of several programmed for the coming weeks where she will travel to continue to tout the infrastructure plan.

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