The proposal aims to reshape the american economy in addition to making the most wide ranging u.s investments in generations. The infrastructure package comes as the debate over tougher gun control laws heats up following recent mass shootings in atlanta georgia in boulder colorado connecting point’s ray herschel spoke with massachusetts. Second district congressman jim mcgovern to get his thoughts on what the chances are, that more restrictive gun laws could become a reality this year, as well as his reaction to the president’s massive infrastructure proposal. We have neglected our infrastructure for decades and we see the results, aging, roads and bridges, uh, water and shore facilities that are need to be repaired. You know we’re not investing in housing, we’re, not investing in rail or in our airports. I go right down the list, so this is a much needed initiative and it’s it’s paid for uh biden is asking big corporations, many of them who have escaped paying taxes because of all the loopholes and some of the tax bills that were passed over the years, Including trump’s tax bill to actually pay their fair share, so we’re not going to add to the deficit but we’re going to invest in our infrastructure, which means we’re investing in jobs and in our economy and so i’m. Going to do everything i can to try to bring it over the finish line. What would this particular infrastructure bill, as the president has detailed? It mean for massachusetts itself? How would it help the bay state well congressman neil, and i have been you know, a huge cheerleader for east west rail.
So i think i would expect that a big chunk of this bill will will go to support rail projects all across the country, including the one we want to see here in massachusetts. It means upgrades in aging, water and source systems, upgrades and roads and bridges that are in disrepair, and it also means we can invest in housing, which is a necessity and in school repairs, which will also be covered by this. So massachusetts, which is an old state and we have old infrastructure, will benefit greatly from this uh senate minority leader mitch, mcconnell called the infrastructure proposal a trojan horse full of big tax hikes uh with that kind of uh opposition and that kind of feeling uh. What do you feel going forward? Are you going to be able to get any kind of republican support yeah? Well, i don’t really care what mitch mcconnell says. I mean mitch. Mcconnell has been a hindrance to moving progressive and thoughtful legislation forward, uh for for many years now, um, you know when the republicans were in charge of the senate, the house and the presidency. They did nothing on infrastructure. This was not a priority uh and um, and the fact is their priority was tax cuts, mostly for rich people, a tax bill that allowed big corporations, many of them to escape paying any federal taxes uh and their other priority was trying to overturn the affordable care Act and throw millions of people off of their health insurance, so we have a different set of priorities.
Whether or not we get some republican senators and members of congress to support it or not remains to be seen, but we need to get it done. Congressman mcgovern wanted to get your thoughts on another issue that has come up obviously year after year, and certainly now in the wake of recent mass shootings in atlanta georgia and also in boulder colorado. What is the likelihood that we could see meaningful tougher gun control legislation enacted into law? This legislative session well i’m, sick about the fact that you know, in spite of massacres, that have occurred on a regular basis in this country uh. In spite of the high uptick in gun related deaths, the congress hasn’t been able to get anything done. Now we had a president under trump who you know was in the back pocket of the gun law, but he didn’t want to do anything, but i you know i i i we have. President biden wants to spend universal background checks. He wants to close uh loopholes. He supports the ban on assault weapons. I mean. Why does anybody need an assault weapon? Why do you need a weapon of war uh? You know unless it is to kill somebody and by the way i saw a poll today that, like 75 of the american people, favor expanding universal background checks, i mean 65 percent favor a ban on assault weapons. So this is wildly popular. The only place that’s not popular is with some senators who are in the back pocket of the gun lobby, who benefit uh financially from their contributions, um and who are more committed to supporting a special interest in the public interest and congressman one of the the issues That has come up with regard to background checks.
Is that, for example, senator joe manchin, a democrat can’t support the the house pass bills, the two bills that were passed in the house with regard to background checks, of course, and assault weapons. With regard to the background checks, the senator feels that if an individual is selling his gun privately, i want to sell you a gun or vice versa, that that individual shouldn’t have to undergo massive background checks. Yes, maybe for commercial sales and gun shows, and that kind of thing could you support a proposal that would would not allow background checks for individual sales. Look, i think, senator manchin’s concern is unwarranted and, quite frankly, uh misses the point i mean the bottom line. Is you know uh if i’m, you know, i should not be able to sell a gun uh to somebody who has a you know who would fail a criminal background check? I mean why. Why does that make sense, um, and it really is offensive that um, your parents who have lost their children to gun violence, come to congress and plead with senators and members of congress to do something, and up until now nothing happens that just has to change. You know we have a democratic house, a democratic senate and a democrat in the white house who actually understands uh the pain of gun violence in this country.