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Biden taps infrastructure czar to oversee billions in funding

·1-min read
Former Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu speaks at an event in Washington in December 2019 (AFP/Shannon Finney)

US President Joe Biden on Sunday appointed prominent former mayor Mitch Landrieu to coordinate implementation of the country's massive new infrastructure law and oversee the disbursement of its $1.2 trillion in funds.

In his role as senior advisor, the former New Orleans mayor "will oversee the most significant and comprehensive investments in American infrastructure in generations," the White House said in a statement.

The package, recently passed by Congress after months of wrangling, is aimed at creating millions of high-paying jobs, upgrading crumbling roads, bridges, waterways and ports and strengthening supply chains.

Biden is scheduled to sign the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal into law on Monday.

Landrieu, 61, is no stranger to managing crises. He took over as mayor of New Orleans in 2010 in the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Katrina as the recovery of the famed Gulf Coast city had stalled.

He also served as Louisiana's lieutenant governor.

Biden has stressed to Americans that it will be a matter of weeks or months before the public begins to see the real effects of the bill which also intends to expand US broadband access and the number of electric car charging stations, along with a slew of other projects.

The president is counting on the program producing an impact -- at least politically -- before Americans vote in midterm elections next November.

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