Dems Leverage the Stress of Air, Car Travel to Heighten Build Back Better Push

As the holiday season gets into full swing, the Democratic Party appears to be promoting President Joe Biden's Build Back Better infrastructure package using travel-related billboard advertisements.

One of these billboards, just south of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, stresses the importance of rebuilding the nation's infrastructure as the busy holiday travel season continues to ramp up.

"Stressed about travel?" the billboard asks. "President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure law will deliver: better airports, safer roads, smoother travel."

In a statement sent to Newsweek, the Democratic National Committee said that "the new billboard campaign is the latest step the DNC has taken to make sure Americans know how they stand to benefit from President Biden's infrastructure law."

The billboards are designed to highlight "how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by President Biden and Democrats will create smoother future holiday travel with better airports and safer roads," the DNC added.

The DNC said that similar billboards will be erected near airports in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

As a part of Biden's largest Build Back Better agenda, the bill, officially known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, set aside $1.2 trillion in spending to improve a variety of public works across the United States.

This includes a $25 billion investment in upgrading American airports. The White House noted that U.S. airports "lag far behind our competitors," adding that "no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide [in some rankings]."

Atlanta Airport
Amid the holiday season, the Democratic Party appears to be promoting President Joe Biden's Build Back Better infrastructure package using travel-related billboards. Pictured above is an overview of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the busiest in the United States. Kevin Fleming/Getty

The funds would go to modernize basic infrastructure across numerous older airports, as well as work to reduce traffic congestion at these sites. The White House also said the airport upgrades would help improve supply-chain issues worsening inflation across the country.

Working to reduce congestion in the skies will likely come as welcome news to travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson. While the COVID-19 pandemic saw global travel grind to a halt, Atlanta's airport remains one of the busiest in the world for passenger air traffic, and held the top spot for 21 straight years.

Hartsfield-Jackson officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would handle about 3.7 million passengers over the holiday season, which was on par with travel numbers seen before the COVID pandemic.

For those choosing to travel by car, the infrastructure act also would provide a massive $110 billion toward repairing American roads and bridges. The White House reported that one in five miles of U.S. roads and at least 45,000 bridges are in need of repair.

The White House went on to refer to the funding as "the single largest investment in repairing and reconstructing our nation's bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system."

This is potentially good news for future holiday seasons, as a significant amount of travelers choose to drive rather than fly over the holidays. AAA estimates that 48.3 million people will get behind the wheel rather than sit in an airplane seat this Christmas.

The package is also aimed at making the roads safer, as the deal includes a first-of-its-kind program to help reduce traffic fatalities. Deaths on the roadway numbered at least 20,000 in the first half of 2021, according to the White House.

In addition to roads and airports, President Biden's signed bill also sets aside funding for a variety of other infrastructure agendas, many of which are aimed toward climate change. This includes the building of electric-vehicle charging stations, the delivery of clean water and elimination of lead pipelines, and ensuring broadband internet access for rural Americans.

Update 12/23/2021, 7 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with a statement from the DNC.