A Liberty Twp. resident and former local fireman got to be an eyewitness of history this week as part of those invited by President Joe Biden for his White House signing of America’s $1 trillion infrastructure deal.
Troy Miller, who is president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627 in Cincinnati, said he was thrilled to be so close to national news event at the home of the president.
Miller was among the hundreds of politicians and labor union representatives attending the signing event Monday on the grounds of the White House.
“It’s an honor to even get to go to the White House,” said Miller. “Many times I’ve walked around the White House (grounds) as a tourist but it’s a huge honor to get in.”
The Associated Press reported the gathering Monday on the White House lawn “was uniquely upbeat with a brass band and peppy speeches, a contrast to the drama and tensions when the fate of the package was in doubt for several months.”
“The speakers lauded the measure for creating jobs, combating inflation and responding to the needs of voters.”
Miller posed for a photo — with the White House in the background — with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman — a Republican who helped negotiate the package and who celebrated Biden’s willingness to jettison much of his initial proposal to help bring GOP lawmakers on board, reported the AP.
Miller said his union local was among those nationwide who lobbied Portman — with cards and messages — urging him to negotiate to make the $1 trillion infrastructure bill a reality.
Miller was especially excited by prospects of federal funding now being available — after years of discussions — to replace Cincinnati’s aging Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River into Northern Kentucky.
“At least it’s in the process of now getting it done. We’ve been talking about this bridge for 25 years,” said the former, part-time firefighter for Liberty Twp. Fire Department, who also is a graduate of the original Lakota High School.
“A lot of the money will go into transit and into the creation of jobs. So, in the long term it’s history. It’s pretty incredible,” he said of the bill’s local and national impact.