WASHINGTON — As mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg grew to view asphalt as his enemy. As governor of Michigan, Jennifer M. Granholm faced a Republican-led legislature intent on blocking her biggest infrastructure ambitions. As governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo overcame early opposition to an infrastructure plan from moderate members of her own party.
All three are part of a group of five cabinet secretaries President Biden has selected to serve as the administration’s salespeople for the American Jobs Plan, which seeks to pour trillions of dollars into infrastructure and other new government programs.
“Every square foot of asphalt, from a mayor’s perspective, is a square foot you have to pay forever to maintain, to resurface, to fill potholes on it,” Mr. Buttigieg, now the transportation secretary, said in a recent interview. “There were roads that maybe saw one car every few minutes that were paved wide enough for four cars side by side. There’s a cost to maintaining that.”
The lessons in asphalt Mr. Buttigieg learned in Indiana informed how he is trying to sell Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan across the country today. “The point is we design for the future and ask what we want to build, instead of redoing everything we’ve done in the past,” he said. In terms of making the case for the ambitious plan, he said, “there’s nothing like being able to say, ‘Here’s how we faced it in my community.’”
the 28 percent corporate tax rate that Mr. Biden has proposed — but has also said he would be open to compromise. “We understand we needed to have a competitive rate,” Ms. Granholm said. “There’s wiggle room.”
Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, to support Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan.