tv Pres. Biden in Baltimore on Rail Tunnel Projects CSPAN January 30, 2023 11:47pm-12:15am EST
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the 46th president of the united states, joe biden. [“hail to the chief” plays] pres. biden: hello, hello, hello. any time i see a train door open, i head for it. by the way, i can say it now since i'm -- there's different leadership, i used to about 15% of the time ride with the engineers. for real. and i'm the only guy that i'm
aware of, when i stopped riding amtrak, that had a key to get in the back. so you can tell your predecessor, he's gone now. look, hello, baltimore. [applause] is there any union organizers in the house? you're making a run, man. brandon scott, thank you for the passport to the at the great city. governor, lieutenant governor, i can't tell you how much i appreciate you being here and the money you've committed to make this work as well. two of my best duddies in the united states congress, no hyperboles, two of the best united states senators i have ever served with an i served there for 36 years.
ben and chris. quasi mfume -- qweise mfume, that's the guy i call. you helped us get so much of this doab including the prompt we're here to celebrate. thanks to the members of the maryland delegation and congressman john sarbanes, he and his dad and i talked a lot about amtrak. spent a lot of time working on it. dutch, you're still here, aren't you? dutch, good to see you. as well as steny hoyer. steny, hell of a guy. for real. [applause] i kidded steny for years, he represents the western shore of delaware. we call the delmarva peninsula. steny, you're the best, one of the greatest champions this state has ever had. and an incredible majority leader and continues to serve maryland very well.
you know, i mean it sincerely, i don't think there's a better delegation in the entire united states of america than the delegation here in maryland including your state legislate yours as well. [applause] somebody who i was senior to but never referred to me as senator, would just say biden, come here. barbaramy kuls key. she's done a lot to make this day happen as well, all the years we worked on this baltimore, amtrak specifically. and finally it's been over three years since -- i didn't know you had seats, you ought to sit down. i said when i was running in 2020 for the job i said, everybody take their seat and there were no seats, the press said he is really stupid. i don't dare tell anybody to take a seat unless i see the
chairs. thank you. it's been over three years since his passing but my late friend elijah cummings is with us in spirit, say, joe, you finally got this sucker done. [applause] c.e.o. steven gardner, steven, he knows he's got a strong support in amtrak, probably too strong. i'm driving him nuts already. i want to get it all done quickly. secretary pete buttigieg, this is just the beginning of having a 21st century rail system that's been so longover due in this country. back in delaware, i'm known for riding amtrak, for being a senator all those years. most of you know that as a senator i rode the train between washington and wismington and back and forth every single day. that the senate was in. and they told me about average
117 days a year, about 265 miles a day. i put over a million miles on amtrak. not a joke. including as vice president. [applause] amtrak wasn't just the way to get home, to family. conductors, engineer they literally became my family. i used to have a summer party in my home in delaware. started off about 10 conductors and engineers, ended up with about 70 people. they became my friends. learn went to a lot of their children's weddings and unfortunately funerals. of them. when i was vice president i flew over a million miles on air force two. i was going home as vice president, one of the conductors said to me, hey, joe, big deal. million, whatever, you've traveled over a million miles on amtrak. how do you know that? they added it up.
folks look. i made a thousand trips through this tunnel. been through this tunnel a thousand times and you know, when folks talk about how badly the baltimore tunnel needs and upgrade you don't need me to tell you. i've been there. you've been there too. i also know that it's not just amtrak. i know how important this tunnel is to the commuter rail and mark rail back and forth to washington. and i know how much it matters to the entire northeast corridor, from here to boston, it matters a great deal. for years people talked about fixing this tunnel. well, i think i made one of the few guys back in the early 1980's, i walked into the tunnel with some of the construction workers. you ought to get inside and see it. it's a 150-year-old tunnel, you wonder how in the hell it's still standing with the bipartisan infrastructure law we're getting it den this law is the most significant investment in american roads and
bridges since the interstate highway system and it's the single most significant investment in rail in america since amtrak was created 50 years ago. the infrastructure law, we're going to invest over $4 billion to replace existing baltimore-potomac tunnel. that's why it's so important. over 2,200 trains run on this corridor every single day. it's the bussiest in the united states. one of the bussiest corridors in the world. the problem anywhere along the line means that up and dunn the east coast commuters are trying to get to and from work and they'll get in trouble. businesses trying to ship their goods. travelers trying to visit family. if this line shuts down, in just one day it would cost the country over $100 million. this tunnel is a major check point for nine million amtrak and marks commuter trail passengers who pass through it each and every year. 1.4 million -- excuse me.
1.4 mile-stretch with tight curves so the trains slow to 30 miles per hour yowch probably heard this already but it's important. 99% of the weekdays there's been a delay here somewhere. trust me, i know. this tunnel is nearly, as i said, 150 years old. it's a civil war era. ulysses s. grant was president. the floor is sinking. s the united states of america, for god's sake we know better than that. we know we have to prove we are better than. that funding for the train structure law is fully replace this tunnel. and we're naming the new tunnel after frederick douglass who boarded this train to freedom right here in baltimore. he escaped slavery, traveled the country by rail. fighting for abolition and civil rights. so it's fitting we honor him in this way.
frederick douglas -- look, we have a lot to do. on the -- when the project is done, the train will travel through this tunnel at 110 miles per hour rather than 0 miles per hour. trains will go from here to washington in 30 minutes. on an average weekday that'll eliminate nearly seven hours a day. the frederick douglass tunnel will be all electric and we'll continue to invest in rail to make it easier for people to use its potential to take thousands of vehicle, thousands of vehicles off the highways including the interstate and save millions of barrels of oil reducing pollution. all the study shows if you get from point a to point b by rail faster than you can by automobile you'd take the rail. this could be a game changer for the environment as well. this is what we're king across the country, not just here. tomorrow i'll be in new york for a similar announcement. the hudson tunnel project. and a critical juncture in the northeast corridor. earlier this month i was in
kentucky with republican leader. and the republican governor and democratic leaders. over $1 billion is being spent on the bridge over the ohio river connecting ohio and kentucky. we're repairing the original bridge and building an entirely new one parallel to it. each day trucks carry about $2 billion worth of freight across that bridge from florida to candavment and it was built 60 years ago. folks have been talking about fixing it for decades. but now we're finally going to get it done. we're not stopping there we're closing the digital divide, nearly 175,000 households in maryland who haven't had access to high speed internet are now getting access to it through the infrastructure law. bipartisan infrastructure law. and our broadband program is estimated to create 200,000 jobs across the country just putting it in the ground. it was all union work.
today -- [applause] and today we're announcing a nearly $4 million grant to the great hbcu in baltimore to buy new laptops to give students digital skills and training that they need to compete in today's workplace. the army corps of engineers spends millions each year drenling to keep shipping channels clear in the port of baltimore and help bring larger ships and more cargo out of maryland now. we're investing another $84 million in infrastructure to take dredge material and restore the mid bay islands on chesapeake, critical habitats for fish and shellfish and birds. these ileft-hand side are central to the fishing and tourism industry. there's a lot we're going to get den. one of the things about the train structure law i'm most excited about is we're doing all this with workers with products made in america.
with union labor. in fact, today we're announcing this project we're building under a project labor agreement. these agreements are agreement pus in place before the construction began. they ensure major projects are handled by well-trained, highly skilled union workers. resolve disputes ahead of time ensuring safer work sites. avoiding disruptions and work stopages that can cause expensive dle delays down the line. so they're not just gad workers, they're good taxpayers too. amtrak. and the building trade have agreed that the project labor agreement will be in place not just here in baltimore but all across major rail construction projects up and down the northeast corridor. and the baltimore tunnel project
will lead to 20,000 20,000 good paying construction jobs. laborers, eelect tritions, iron workers, engineer, so much more. these are good jobs you can raise a family on. and most don't require a college degree. but they do require the equivalent of a college degree, you have to have four or five years of apprenticeship. that's one of the reasons they're the best-trained workers in the world. best in the world. [applause] i've been saying that my whole career but it's true. these are jobs for folks i used to think about as i took the train home at night going through the stretches of urban maryland, suburban baltimore, look out the window, see the flickering lights on people's tables, not a joke, used to look at them and wonder what the conversations were at the kitchen table, the dining room table, what were think thinking about after they put their kids to bed, asking questions that are ordinary and profound.
are we going to have enough money left over at the end they have month after we pay our bills to have a little breathing room? my dad used to say, you know, joe, your dad is -- your job is about a lot more than your paycheck. it's about dignity. respect. being able to look your kid in the eye and say honey, it's going -- i mean this sincerely, it's going to be ok and mean it. too many people have been left behind in the past and treated like they're invisible amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades they remember. they remember the jobs that went away. and wonder whether a path exists anymore for them to succeed. but i know we can forge a path to building an economy where no one is left behind. that's where this -- what this project and others like it across the country are all about. it's about making investments in cities, towns, heartlands, rural america. it's about making things here in america again. it's about good jobs.
the dignity of work. respect and self-worth. and it's about damn time we're doing it. [applause] we went through four deck wades where -- deck wades -- decades where we exported jobs and imported pronls. we're importing jobs and exporting products now. we talked abbuilding the best economy in the world osm to have the best economy in the world you have to have the best infrastructure in the world. that's not hyperbole it's a fact. could you get products to market to create thousands of good-paying jobs. for most of the last century we led the world by a significant margin by we -- because we invested in our people, invested in ourselves. invested in research and development. along the way we stopped. we used to rank number one in the world in research and development. now we rank number nine. china used to rank number eight. now it ranks number two.
the risk of losing our edge as a nation and china and the rest they have world camping up is real. for decades the backbone of america, the middle class, has been hollowed out. too many good-paying manufacturing jobs movedover seas because labor was cheaper. jobs moved overseas, factories closed down. one-thriving cities and towns became shadows of themselves. what they used to be. when carrier, one of the biggest manufacturers in syracuse, new york, stopped making air conditioners, they went -- the town went in decline now micron's enormous investment is bringing it all back and more. [applause] same thing is happening in lordstown, ohio, when g.m. shut dunn their autofactory. but this past year, thanks to all we're doing with electric vehicles, g.m. and l.g. announced they'll hires how to of of workers to build a new electric vehicle battery. when these towns were holllowed out, something else was lost.
their pride. the sense of self-esteem. folks, these are the effects of the so-called trickle down economics. the view from park avenue that says, when you do -- when the wealthy do well, it will all trickle dunn to everyone else. not the family i was raised, didn't work that way. there's another one i hold that holds -- that folks in baltimore hold as we our folks in cities are born in scranton, pennsylvania, grew up in clay mont, delaware, like i did. they view the backbone of america. they are the backbone. they're the people who get up every morning to go to work, trying to bust their necks to make an honest living. look folksing i've said it many times. wall street did not build this country. the middle class built this country. and unions built the middle class. [cheers and applause] that's a fact. i ran for president to build and economy from the bottom up and
the middle out. bring back good-paying jobs you can raise a family on. whether or not you went to college. to give working families a little more breathing room. to invest in ourselves again. to invest in america again. that's what we've done. my first two years in office, we have two of the strongest years of economic growth and job growth in american history. we create 1-d 1 million new jobs including 750,000 manufacturing jobs and we're just getting started. where is it written america can't lead the world in manufacturing again? jon where that's written. there's been investment totaling $300 billion in american manufacturing including for semiconductors and small computer chips that power virtually everything in our lives from cell phones to automobiles, artificial intelligence. you know, what a lot of people don't remember, don't know, we
invented the computer chip in america. we invented it. and we made it more sophisticated. 30 years ago. america had more than 30% of the global chip production, worth tens of billions of dollars. today we produce only around 10% of the world's chips. instead of supply chain where these chips started with us, it starts with countries you can't rely on. new automobiles need 3,000 of these chips just to be made. overseas factories make these chips shut down in the pandemic, automakers had to shut down their lines too. we couldn't produce cars because we didn't have enough chips. can't let that happen again. that's why we came together to pass the bipartisan chips and science act and we're seeing the results now. [applause] just a few hours north on here, i.b.m. invested $20 billion in
its facility in poughkeepsie, new york, in semiconductor design and manufacturing. quantum computing. artificial intelligence. intel is investing $20 billion building two chim factory, fabrication facilities, just outside of columbus, ohio. $100 billion with micron in syracuse. $40 billion in phoenix. our economic agenda has ignited a boom in manufacturing from semiconductors to electric vehicles to advanced batteries. we're going to power those vehicles and in addition to that, anybody from the i.b.w. here? [cheers and applause] 500,000 charging stations you're going to build in america so you can go from coast to coast to coast. [cheers and applause] look, there's much more to say about what we're going to be doing to modernize american rail but let me close this with because if we don't get it by a quarter after we're all here for
the next two hours. almost. when america sees these projects popping up across the country it message. when we work together there's not a damn thing we can't do. there's nothing beyond our capacity. we can move, we can move this. we can move this nation forward. it sends another message as well. message of pride. pride in our country. pride in what we can do when we do it together. you've heard me say it, i apologize for repieting but as long as i'm here i'm going to say it. that's never been a good bet. never been a good bet to bet against america. never. i can honestly say as i stand here today, i have never been more optimistic about america's future. just have to remember who we are. we're the united states of america. there's nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity. we work together. we've never failed to meet and
objective when we set our mind to it. it's about time we say once again, we're going to lead the world in the second quarter of the 21st century. may god bless you all, may god protect our troops. thank you, thank you, thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2023] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ ♪
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