President Releases Jobs Plan with Infrastructure Spending
President Joseph R. Biden will unveil a far-reaching jobs plan when he formally announced “The American Jobs Plan” in Pittsburgh this afternoon. Within the plan are elements of the Administration’s highway investment proposal. The President said this is one of two plans he plans to reveal, with the second plan being the “The American Family Plan.”
The fact sheet released by the White House this morning states that while the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, “[t]his is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy.” The plan is expected to “create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.”
The fact sheet states that while the U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world, we rank 13th when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure. Overall, the plan calls for $621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience investments to:
Repair American roads and bridges.
Modernize public transit.
Invest in reliable passenger and freight rail service.
Create good jobs electrifying vehicles.
Improve ports, waterways, and airports.
Redress historic inequities and build the future of transportation infrastructure.
Invest resources wisely to deliver infrastructure projects that produce real results.
Within the surface transportation platform, the President’s plan calls for fixing highways, rebuilding bridges, and upgrading ports, airports and transit systems. The President is proposing a total increase of $115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair. His plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets, not only “fixing them first” but “fixing them right,” with safety, resilience, and all users in mind. It will fix the most economically significant large bridges in the country in need of reconstruction, and it will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, including bridges that provide critical connections to rural and tribal communities. The plan also calls on Congress to invest $25 billion in our airports, including funding for the Airport Improvement Program, upgrades to FAA assets that ensure safe and efficient air travel, and a new program to support terminal renovations and multimodal connections for affordable, convenient, car-free access to air travel.
Notably, the plan also mentions investment in basic research, like advanced pavements that recycle carbon dioxide, and “future proof” investments that will last decades to leave coming generations with a safe, equitable, and sustainable transportation system. Also, the plan aims to accelerate transformative investments, from pre-development through construction, turning “shovel worthy” ideas into “shovel ready” projects. This includes $25 billion for a dedicated fund to support ambitious projects that have tangible benefits to the regional or national economy but are too large or complex for existing funding programs.
Sustainability and resilience are common themes throughout the plan. The fact sheet describes a goal of using “more sustainable and innovative materials, including cleaner steel and cement, and component parts [that are] Made in America and shipped on U.S.-flag vessels with American crews under U.S. laws. As proposed, the plan will also ensure that infrastructure investments will mitigate socio-economic disparities, advance racial equity, and promote affordable access to opportunity.
Resilience is a key element of the President’s plan, which calls for $50 billion in dedicated investments to improve infrastructure resilience to:
Safeguard critical infrastructure and services;
Defend vulnerable communities; and
Maximize the resilience of land and water resources to protect communities and the environment.
Highways and airport are one of several categories the President will address with the jobs plan. The plan also includes several other goals, including:
Delivery of clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.
Building, preserving, and retrofitting more than 2 million homes and commercial buildings, modernizing schools and child care facilities, and upgrading veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings.
Solidifying the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers
Revitalizing manufacturing, securing the U.S. supply chains, investing in R&D, and training Americans for the jobs of the future.
Creating good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces, while ensuring workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers.
Alongside the American Jobs Plan, President Biden is releasing a “Made in America Tax Plan” to make sure corporations pay their fair share in taxes and encourage job creation at home.
According to a report in POLITICO yesterday, the President will not call for a wealth tax, as was proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The White House is expected, instead, to turn to a variety of other revenue raisers, including a hike in the corporate rate, the ending of federal fossil fuel subsidies and a push to end offshore tax havens for corporations.
The fact sheet calls the President’s American Jobs Plan [an] historic public investment – consisting principally of one-time capital investments in our nation’s productivity and long-term growth. It will invest about 1 percent of GDP per year over eight years to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, revitalize manufacturing, invest in basic research and science, shore up supply chains, and solidify our care infrastructure. If passed alongside President Biden’s Made in America corporate tax plan, it will be fully paid for within the next 15 years and reduce deficits in the years after.
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