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Sen. Coons reflects on President Biden’s first year

We are now a year into Joe Biden’s presidency - a year that has produced both ups and downs for Biden.

On the plus side, Biden and allies, like Sen. Chris Coons, point to delivering pandemic relief and landmark bipartisan infrastructure funding.

Delaware Public Media’s Roman Battaglia sits down with Coons to get his assessment of Biden’s accomplishments, and the challenges looming in year two.

Delaware Public Media's Roman Battaglia interviews Sen. Chris Coons

It’s been just over a year since Delaware’s own Joe Biden was sworn in as president.

And Sen. Chris Coons says while he believes Biden accomplished a great deal, more work lies ahead.

One challenge is passing a voting rights bill which Coons calls foundational not just Democrats, but democracy itself - pointing to states enacting laws that make it harder to vote.

He says that - combined with the pandemic - make the federal legislation a priority.

"I think we can strike the right balance of making it easier for working people to vote, easier for medically vulnerable people to vote whether through early voting, drop boxes, vote by mail,  While still ensuring election integrity in this country," he said.

Senate Democrats’ latest attempt to advance the legislation fell short last week. The bill would set minimum standards for states to enact early voting, vote by mail and would make Election Day a holiday.

One of the success stories Coons points to is the billions of dollars in infrastructure investment on its way - including dollars for train travel.

"The number of Amtrak employees, the amount of Amtrak investment, and the amount of work that’s going to be done to improve the infrastructure for rail in our region is all going to go up as a result of this bipartisan infrastructure bill," he said.

The bill also directs federal funds to bridge and highway improvements and expansion of broadband internet.

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Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.