Move over, BIF and BBB. Now there’s BBA.

President Joe Biden rebranded his bipartisan infrastructure package as “Building a Better America” ahead of his Wednesday trip to Kansas City, Missouri, to promote the deal.

What You Need To Know

  • President Joe Biden has rebranding his recently passed bipartisan infrastructure package as "Building a Better America"

  • The new branding was unveiled ahead of a Wednesday trip to Kansas City, Missouri, to promote the deal

  • The new slogan replaces past informal references to BIF, the bipartisan infrastructure framework, and hews closely to Biden’s separate “Build Back Better” agenda

  • Biden on Wednesday continued his nationwide tour to promote the bill in Missouri, which has nearly 2,200 bridges and more than 7,570 miles of highway deemed in poor condition

The economy has roared back during Biden’s tenure, but high inflation, political polarization and the inability to fully break free of the coronavirus pandemic has hurt his popularity. 

The new slogan tied to the $1 trillion infrastructure package is an effort to say that the president’s bipartisan deal will improve the country in ways well beyond simply repairing its aging roads and bridges.

“We Americans always rebuild. And we will rebuild this country back,” Biden declared from the Kansas City Port Authority on Wednesday. “This law will build back our bridges, our water systems, our power lines, electric grids better, stronger, more resistant to the negative effects of climate change.”

The new slogan replaces past informal references to BIF, the bipartisan infrastructure framework. And it also hews closely to Biden’s separate “Build Back Better” agenda of tax hikes on the wealthy and an expansion of education, family and environmental programs still pending in the Senate. That broad slogan has made it challenging for people to easily grasp all that’s in the package.

Biden on Wednesday highlighted the broad range of investments included in his recently-signed law, touting the billions of dollars allocated towards climate change resilience, broadband access and modernizing ports and airports. 

"We're in a situation where we've known that our infrastructure has had problems for a long, long time," Biden said, before joking at his predecessor's expense: "I don't think I could take one more phrase that it's going to be infrastructure week."

"Well guess what? It's going to be infrastructure decade now, man," Biden continued

The infrastructure law will fund upgrades and repairs to roads, bridges, and mass transit and water systems nationwide, along with a shift to electrical vehicles to help ease the effects of climate change.

Missouri will receive around $100 million for broadband expansion and $99 million for the expansion of electric vehicle chargers over the next five years.

The president tailored his address to the residents of Missouri, which has nearly 2,200 bridges and more than 7,570 miles of highway deemed in poor condition. Under the law, Missouri would expect to receive $7 billion for highways and bridges, a nearly 30% increase in federal funding, the White House said.

The Buck O’Neil Bridge in Kansas City is among bridges in the state in need of repair.

Construction on a replacement bridge began in the fall, before Biden signed the infrastructure bill, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024, at an estimated cost of close to $220 million borne by the state and the city.

Biden called the infrastructure law the “most significant investment in roads and bridges in America in 70 years,” adding that funds from the bill would fix “many of those 3,500 bridges and nearly 10,000 miles of roads in Kansas and Missouri in poor condition.”

The 65-year-old Buck O’Neil Bridge is a key route connecting downtown Kansas City with northern Kansas City and growing suburbs across the Missouri River, and carries about 50,000 vehicles a day, according to the state Department of Transportation. It opened in 1956 and had required frequent upgrades and repairs in recent years.

The bridge is named for Buck O’Neil, a two-time All-Star first baseman in baseball’s Negro Leagues and the first Black coach in the National or American leagues. O’Neil, who died in 2006, was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Biden honored O’Neil during his visit to Missouri, calling him an “American monarch,” and “one of the game's greatest ambassadors.” 

“The sun is shining a little brighter on Kansas City this week, and it’s because Bob and Buck are up there sharing a laugh with one another,” Biden added, referencing the late politician Bob Dole, who passed away over the weekend.

Biden called Dole an "American giant" and a "war hero who sacrificed beyond measure."

"We didn't agree on everything but I always admired and respected him," Biden said. "And his willingness to work with anyone."

Biden will likely continue to lean on both regional allocations and personal connections during his administration’s nationwide tour to tout his agenda, a push that includes vice president Kamala Harris and multiple members of the president’s Cabinet. 

The White House launched a site Wednesday that asks Americans to record videos about how the infrastructure spending will help their communities, part of a search for grassroots support as the administration seeks greater recognition for its achievements ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

The president encouraged Americans to visit Build.Gov to “learn more about this law and what it means for your community.”