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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Biden White House gives Texas a C grade in infrastructure as it pitches the American Jobs Plan

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2021 at 10:45 AM

click to enlarge The Biden White House said Texas has fallen short not just on highways and bridges but affordable housing and broadband deployment. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • The Biden White House said Texas has fallen short not just on highways and bridges but affordable housing and broadband deployment.
A new "Infrastructure Report Card" from the White House slaps a letter grade of C on Texas' infrastructure, citing shortcomings ranging from road repair and climate resiliency to broadband access and affordable housing.

The Biden Administration this week issued state-by-state report cards as part of its effort to pass the president's $2.25 trillion infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan. While Texas' grade wouldn't exactly make Mom proud, it's worth noting that no state earned higher than a C+.



Texas' report card tweaks it for a "systemic lack of investment," a phrase used across all the states' individual report cards. Among the infrastructure shortcomings highlighted in Texas' report:
  • The state has 818 bridges and some 19,400 miles of highway in poor condition. Commute times are also up 11.4% since 2011.
  • Due to a lack affordable housing, more than 1.7 million Texans are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their incomes to put a roof over their heads.
  • More than 12% of Texans live in areas where broadband internet access is unavailable.
  • The state experienced 67 extreme weather events from 2010 to 2020, costing it up to $200 billion in damages due its lack of climate resiliency.
The last point may have increased significance for Texans following February's winter storm, likely to go down as the costliest disaster in state history. Experts say it could shoot well past Hurricane Harvey's $125 billion in damage.

Texas was one of 12 states that got a C on the Biden report cards, while another 21 earned a grade of C-. Just two landed a C+. The White House slapped six states with grades of D+ to D-, while eight states got no letter grade. No state received an F.

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