SEATTLE - A political science professor from Seattle University believes President elect Joe Biden’s impact on Washington State will be meaningful, from federal funding for research universities to support for infrastructure projects and a more open relationship with the White House administration.
“We have the University of Washington, giant research hospital, that has always taken a lot of federal grants to help us make new medicine to cure the diseases as things change in this world. Washington State University also has a lot of research that’s done there,” said Marco Lowe, political science professor at Seattle University.
Large infrastructure and transportation projects rely on federal funding. Lowe said the federal government will play a huge role in replacing the West Seattle Bridge, among other potential investments in the region.
“When the West Seattle bridge was damaged in the 80s, we had a very powerful Senate Delegation again at that time in Jackson and Magnuson, and the bridge was replaced in record time,” said Lowe. “Sound Transit is led by Peter Rogoff who used to head the Federal Transit Administration under President Obama so he has direct connections to DC so I think Sound Transit will benefit.”
Lowe also said the senior members in the House and Senate will help Washington State have more influence with Biden and his administration.
“We have two senior U.S. Senators in Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. We have a delegation that has very senior members. Adam Smith in the 9th, we have Rick Larsen in the 2nd, and Pramila Jayapal in Seattle is newer, but the Congresswoman is a force of nature in DC already,” said Lowe.
President elect Biden will announce a task force on Monday dedicated to fighting the spread of Covid-19.
Lowe said it’s yet to be seen if a new stimulus package will be negotiated before President Trump’s term is over, but it may not happen until Biden takes office.
“Hopefully individuals in Washington State will see money in their unemployment benefits, businesses could get loans that can support them, and cities and towns can also get grants as well as the economy has shrunk the tax base,” said Lowe.
Lowe just finished and posted a book to Amazon on political transitions called “Powershift.” He said Biden will have just over 70 days to fill 4-thousand positions in federal government that are appointed by the President, and 1,200 of those need to be approved by the Senate.
“There’s a $4.7 trillion U.S. Budget, and there are four million federal employees when you count the military,” said Lowe. “So much is done that determines the success of your administration, and it’s done in 75 to 77 days, so it’s a fascinating moment in U.S. History.”