Legislative Affairs

Infrastructure Update: American Jobs Plan

  • 1.  Infrastructure Update: American Jobs Plan

    Posted 17 days ago
    This week, the Biden Administration announced an infrastructure and climate change legislative proposal, the American Jobs Plan (AJP). The one-time investment in infrastructure is sweeping, covering policy from climate change to workforce development, and would amount to an investment of about 1% of US GDP per year over eight years. Also, a second economic proposal, The American Family Plan, will be released in the coming weeks and is expected to include a number of priorities critical to congressional Democrats, such as a major expansion in health insurance coverage, subsidies for childcare and free access to community colleges, among other measures.

    American Jobs Plan 
    White House Fact Sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/31/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan/

    Plan Details:
    The $2.25 trillion plan includes investments in the following areas, spent out over eight years:
    • $621 billion for traditional infrastructure;
    • $650 billion for "at home" infrastructure;
    • $400 billion for the "care economy;"
    • $580 billion for research and development, manufacturing, and training.
    • Note: This is the White House's proposal, which sets the bar for Congressional negotiations on an infrastructure package. It only represents broad outlines of the Administration's priorities, as it will be up to Congress to decide what provisions will be in any future legislative text.

    Traditional Infrastructure: $621 billion

    • $115 billion to revamp highways and roads (including 10 major and 10,000 smaller bridges in need of reconstruction).
    • $85 billion to modernize existing transit systems and help agencies expand to meet rider demand. The investment would double federal funding for public transit.
    • $174 billion in grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030.
    • $25 billion in airports, including programs to renovate terminals and expand car-free access to air travel.
    • $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries to invest in the nation's freight system.

    Infrastructure "at home:" $650 billion

    • $213 billion to build and retrofit more than 2 million homes. The plan would build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income home buyers and invest $40 billion to improve public housing.
    • $100 billion in high-speed broadband deployment. Including universal broadband to more than 35 percent of rural Americans who currently lack access to high-speed Internet.
    • $111 billion to replace the country's lead pipes and service lines, as well as upgrades to drinking, waste, and stormwater systems.
    • $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools. It also invests $12 billion in community college infrastructure and $25 billion to upgrade child-care facilities.
    • $16 billion toward hundreds of thousands of jobs plugging oil and gas wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, hard rock and uranium mines.
    • $10 billion for conservation workers, including those focusing on public lands and environmental justice.

    Care economy: $400 billion

    • $400 billion to expand access to home- or community-based care for seniors and people with disabilities.
    • Biden also calls for improving working conditions, including higher wages and more benefits, for caretakers.

    Research and development, manufacturing, and training: $580 billion

    • $180 billion in research and development (i.e., a major clean-energy push to reduce emissions, build climate resilience, and boost climate-focused research)
    • $52 billion in domestic manufacturing support.
    • $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research.
    • $46 billion for federal purchasing in clean energy procurement.
    • $14 billion in scientific research funding.

    Details on Education-Related Provisions
    The proposal would provide:

    • $100 billion for school construction and modernization: $50 billion is from direct grants targeted to areas with highest needs, and $50 billion would be leveraged through bonds. There is priority on safety upgrades such as improving ventilation and air quality, then there is a second priority on a climate change component with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving school kitchens, reducing use of disposable materials, and creating more green spaces. 
    • $25 billion for child care facilities: Creates a new child care growth and innovation fund for states to upgrade facilities and create more in high-need areas. The plan also includes an expanded tax credit to encourage businesses to build work-based child care facilities.
    • $100 billion for workforce development: This includes $40 billion for a new Dislocated Workers Program to help workers whose jobs have disappeared learn new skills in high-demand areas such as clean energy, caregiving, and manufacturing. It includes $12 billion to focus on workers facing the greatest challenges, a total that includes $5 billion over eight years to support community-based violence prevention efforts. It also includes $48 billion in workforce development and worker protections, including apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to expand access for underrepresented students and adults to STEM and in-demand fields; this also includes adult literacy and links with community colleges.
    • $45 billion to improve drinking water - Funding would help reduce exposure to lead drinking water pipes in 400,000 schools and child care facilities.
    • $100 billion to expand broadband access - (Not school-specific, in general) Funding would support building and expanding high-speed internet broadband to cover the country and make access more affordable for everyone.

    Likelihood of Passage?
    Congress will work to put President Biden's infrastructure and climate plan into legislative text when lawmakers return to town during the week of April 12th. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has reportedly told her caucus that she wants to bring the package to the floor by July 4th. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ruled out support from the Republican caucus for President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan, which means Democrats will likely need to use the budget reconciliation process to pass it. While Senate Democrats have already displayed a willingness to use this option to pass the infrastructure bill on their own, President Biden has continued to call for a bipartisan approach to enacting his package. Note, that if Democrats attempt to pass the bill themselves, their thin majority in the Senate means that the caucus would have to balance competing interests (e.g., progressive and moderate Democrats' interests) to approve a bill. Some progressive lawmakers have called to include more ambitious measures to fight climate change, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is pushing to include a repeal of the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions in the plan as well.

    Special thanks to our friends at CEF for helping compile this information. 

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