Biden taps former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu to implement infrastructure plan

President Joe Biden plans to name former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu senior advisor responsible for implementing the infrastructure plan that passed with bipartisan approval earlier this month. 

Landrieu will over oversee the building of roads, bridges and rail, and improvements in ports, airports and mass transit as the global supply chain crisis continues. He will also oversee the implementation of clean energy, climate resistance investments and expand access to high-speed internet. 

Landrieu served as mayor for New Orleans from 2010 to 2018, helping the city recover from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 BP oil spill. According to the White House, he fast-tracked 100 projects and secured billions of dollars in federal funding to improve the city’s infrastructure, education and hospitals in the years following the storm. Before becoming mayor, Landrieu served as the Lt. Governor of Louisiana. 

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His accolades include getting recognized by Governing Magazine as the Public Official of the Year in 2015.

"I am thankful to the President and honored to be tasked with coordinating the largest infrastructure investment in generations," Landrieu said in a news release Sunday. "Our work will require strong partnerships across the government and with state and local leaders, business and labor to create good-paying jobs and rebuild America for the middle class. We will also ensure these major investments achieve the President’s goals of combating climate change and advancing equity."

Biden is expected to sign his infrastructure agenda into law after the House approved a $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects earlier this month. The approval came after Democrats resolved a months-long standoff between progressives and moderates, notching a victory that Biden and his party had become increasingly anxious to claim.

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The House passed the measure 228-206, prompting prolonged cheers from the relieved Democratic side of the chamber. Thirteen Republicans, mostly moderates, supported the legislation while six of Democrats’ farthest left members — including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri — opposed it.

Approval of the bill, which would create legions of jobs and improve broadband, water supplies and other public works, whisked it to the desk of a president whose approval ratings have dropped and whose nervous party got a cold shoulder from voters in this week’s off-year elections.

Yet despite the win, Democrats endured a setback when they postponed a vote on a second, even larger bill until later this month.

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That 10-year, $1.85 trillion measure bolstering health, family and climate change programs was sidetracked after moderates demanded a cost estimate on the sprawling measure from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The postponement dashed hopes that the day would produce a double-barreled win for Biden with passage of both bills.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.