Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg on keeping travelers safe amid pandemic

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  • CNBC Television published this video item, entitled “Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg on keeping travelers safe amid pandemic” – below is their description.

    Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg joins “Squawk on the Street” to discuss how the Biden administration plans to transition into a safe return to travel amid the pandemic. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

    Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, said Friday morning that the White House is weighing a variety of ways to finance what’s expected to be its multitrillion-dollar infrastructure proposals.

    Buttigieg, who spoke with CNBC’s Kayla Tausche, also argued that President Joe Biden’s forthcoming plans to rebuild U.S. roads, bridges and waterways would lead to a net gain for the U.S. taxpayer and not a net outlay.

    “When you think about infrastructure, it’s a classic example of the kind of investment that has a return on that investment,” he said. “That’s one of many reasons why we think this is so important. This is a jobs vision as much as it is an infrastructure vision, a climate vision, and more.”

    He also weighed in on several potential revenue-generating options to fund the project. He spoke fondly of a mileage levy, which would tax travelers based on how far they travel instead of on how much gasoline they consume.

    Democrats have slowly pivoted away from a gasoline tax amid a simultaneous, climate friendly effort to encourage consumers to drive electric cars.

    “I’m hearing a lot of appetite to make sure that there are sustainable funding streams,” the transportation secretary said. A mileage tax “shows a lot of promise if we believe in that so-called user-pays principle: The idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive.”

    BABs show “a lot of promise in terms of the way that we leverage that kind of financing. There have been ideas around things like a national infrastructure bank, too.”

    His remarks on Friday came a day after he implored Congress on Thursday to make a “generational investment” to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, and waterways and combat climate change and racial inequity.

    “There is near-universal recognition that a broader recovery will require a national commitment to fix and transform America’s infrastructure,” Buttigieg told the the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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