Highlights of Biden’s American Jobs Plan
April 22, 2021
President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion proposal often referred to in the media as an infrastructure plan. The White House positioned it as The American Jobs Plan because traditional infrastructure is not the only item included in the proposal. The inclusion of items beyond the scope of traditional infrastructure, as well as the massive price tag, has concerned both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Biden proposed paying for the bill by raising corporate taxes to 28 percent, up from the 21 percent rate put in place by the previous administration. This would actually return the tax rate to pre-Trump era corporate tax rate. But lawmakers worry that this reversion could also move jobs overseas, where taxes and labor costs tend to be much less than in the US. The White House told Reuters in early April that the president would likely consider compromising the bump in corporate taxes to 25 percent.
“I’m willing to listen to that, I’m wide open to it,” Reuters quoted Biden.
The president has invited moderate GOP lawmakers to several meetings to discuss ways they could meet in the middle to make the proposal work. Biden has repeatedly asserted his eagerness to make The American Jobs Plan a bipartisan effort.
There’s plenty in the plan to attract both sides of the aisle. The plan proposes:
· $115 billion for repair and rebuilding roads, bridges and highways;
· $100 billion for expanding and improving power lines and promoting clean energy sources such as wind and solar;
· $100 billion to expand high-speed broadband across the country, especially to underserved rural areas; and
· $100 billion to improve schools and build new ones.
Each of these items has needed to be addressed for years. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan bill that dealt with some of the most pressing issues of US bridges, roads, and highways, but it was only a start.
These infrastructure projects, said the White House, will create new jobs across the country. The proposal also promotes creation of a Climate Conservation Corps to achieve two goals:
· work on conservation and environmental justice efforts and
· jumpstart a shift from gasoline-powered to electric vehicles.
To accomplish the latter, Biden proposes spending billions on rebates, tax incentives, and incentives to state and local governments to promote the move to electric vehicles, transit, school buses, and electric charging stations.
Other items included in the proposal don’t fit the traditional definition of infrastructure but are meant to address racial inequities and other pressing problems faced by Americans. These include:
· replacing all lead pipes and service lines, which disproportionately affect poorer communities;
· improving and expanding mass transportation, which also disproportionately affects poorer communities;
· reconnecting urban neighborhoods that were negatively affected by highways built through them without regard for residents;
· helping care for older and disabled Americans and children;
· creating affordable housing;
· making federal government buildings more energy efficient; and
· addressing disaster resilience.
GOP leaders such as Mitch McConnell, who called the proposal a Trojan horse, received the proposal with skepticism. “It’s called infrastructure,” he said. “But inside the Trojan horse is going to be more borrowed money and massive tax increases.”
The Biden administration asserts this proposal invests in Americans, helping employ them, making water and power grids safe, opening new and environmentally conscientious transportation, improving schools, addressing broadband issues, and helping the country compete with China and other countries.
“(The bill is) about making an investment in America—not just modernizing our roads or railways or bridges, but building an infrastructure of the future,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a late-March briefing before the president’s speech introducing the proposal. “(President Biden’s) speech is really about his vision for creating jobs—good-paying union jobs, and really investing in the industries of the future.”
Read The American Jobs Plan Fact Sheet here: