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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge visited the city’s Jazz District to push for President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion infrastructure spending plan.

Fudge is concerned about the national debate over whether housing should be considered infrastructure.

The secretary joined allies in U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Mayor Quinton Lucas to call for housing to be included as infrastructure in the bill currently being debated by Congress.

Republicans want to limit spending to primarily road and bridge improvements.

But President Biden has included $200 billion for building new homes and bringing existing housing up to code.

That includes $40 billion to rehab public housing already built. There’s $10 billion in place to address a growing homeless population, where Fudge says the problem has become a lack of space to put people.

“If we thought the way people think who say housing is not infrastructure, we probably would never have sent a man to the moon,” Fudge said. “We would not have the medical breakthroughs we have had. We would not be talking about electric vehicles, if we kept thinking about things the old way.”

In a veiled reference to Republican opponents, Fudge says Democrats will not be deterred by those she calls “haters.”

She says the Biden administration will take care of people in a dignified, respectful way.

Cleaver currently serves as chair of the U.S. House subcommittee on housing.

He says making sure America creates more affordable housing is his top priority in Congress.