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Washington Watch: Biden praises New Hampshire Sen. Hassan’s support for infrastructure spending, as Democrats try to keep grip on Senate

President Joe Biden on Tuesday used his visit to New Hampshire in part to talk up the state’s junior U.S. senator, Democrat Maggie Hassan, who faces a closely watched race this year as her party aims to keep control of the Senate.

“Maggie was a key player in the infrastructure law, and it’s making a difference here in New Hampshire,” Biden said during a speech in Portsmouth that touched on how last year’s bipartisan infrastructure
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package is providing $17 billion for ports and waterways.

“She made the case for high speed internet everywhere in New Hampshire, and, you know, protecting New Hampshire’s coastlines from rising sea levels and extreme storms — and for the investments in New Hampshire’s roads and bridges, ports and waterways.”

The $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Biden signed into law in November, has been a win for the president and other Democrats in Washington, D.C., while a separate social-spending package has stalled and high inflation has hurt them politically.

Related: Here’s what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure law — and how it’s paid for

Republicans are widely expected to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in this November’s midterm elections, with betting market PredictIt giving an 86% chance for that outcome.

The GOP is getting good odds for taking back the 50-50 Senate, too, as PredictIt puts them at 78%.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has tagged nine races as competitive as of mid-April, with ratings such as “Toss up” or “Lean R.” Hassan’s contest is among them, getting a rating of “Lean D.”

However, New Hampshire’s GOP governor, Chris Sununu, announced in November that he wouldn’t run against Hassan, with that development seen as a blow for Republican efforts to pick up a Senate seat. The Republicans who are running to take on Hassan includes the state senate’s president, Chuck Morse, and Londonderry’s town manager, Kevin Smith.

U.S. stocks
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closed sharply higher on Tuesday as energy prices pulled back.

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