American Jobs Plan good for our future

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN last week unveiled his American Jobs Plan, an ambitious proposal that looks to invest $2 trillion to overhaul and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, creating millions of jobs in what he describes as “a once-in-a-generation investment in America.” – Jonathan Ernst/Reuters photo

President Joe Biden recently announced his administration’s American Jobs Plan, a comprehensive $2 trillion proposal to overhaul and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure and create millions of good-paying jobs, calling it a transformational effort that could create the “most resilient, innovative economy in the world.”

“It is not a plan that tinkers around the edges,” Biden said in a speech promoting the plan outside Pittsburgh. “It is a once-in-a-generation investment in America.”

White House officials said the proposal’s combination of spending and tax credits would translate into 20,000 miles of rebuilt roads, repairs to the 10 most economically important bridges in the country, the elimination of lead pipes from the nation’s water supplies and a long list of other projects intended to create millions of jobs in the short run and strengthen American competitiveness in the long run, the New York Times reports.

The proposal would also address climate change by quickening the shift to new, cleaner energy sources.

Biden began promoting the plan last week in Pittsburgh, saying the provisions in the plan would improve wages, internet service, drinking water and commute times.

The spending in the plan would take place over eight years, with the costs offset by increasing corporate tax revenues over 15 years, particularly for multinational corporations that earn and bank their profits overseas, which might prod some companies to invest and produce more in the United States.

“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a historic investment in the working people of America,” said U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

“It will create millions of good paying, family sustaining jobs that rebuild the middle class by empowering our workers to build America’s future, while also helping to promote racial equality in the economy.

“This plan is what building back better looks like – a 21st-century infrastructure including rail, roads, bridges and broadband; clean energy and drinking water for healthy communities; expanded job training and apprenticeships, so workers can take control of their futures; research and development to grow good manufacturing jobs; investment in the essential care professions that our families and communities depend on; and equity for historically marginalized communities, so nobody gets left out,” said Walsh, the former mayor of Boston and former head of both Laborers’ Local 223 and the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council.

“As a former construction worker, I know a good job can change your life,” Walsh said. “As a former mayor, I know that these investments will transform struggling communities and grow local economies. As Labor Secretary, I stand ready to make sure these opportunities reach workers from all walks of life and in every corner of our country.”

The plan still needs to be approved by Congress, and Biden has appealed for support from both parties, saying the program would be “unlike anything we have seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space program” and calling it “the largest American jobs investment since World War II.”

Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), said the plan would “create millions of jobs for construction workers across America” and “meets the infrastructure challenges that have plagued our nation for decades.

“This is also perhaps our last best chance to remain the world’s leading superpower and counter China’s emergence in the global economy,” he said. “With this level of investment, it will further enable NABTU to train women, communities of color, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated for construction careers through pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship training programs.

“Calling for big, broad, and bold infrastructure investment is an important first step in creating union jobs that will expand the middle class and promote family-sustaining careers in industries such as ours,” McGarvey said. “We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to finally get an infrastructure bill worthy of all of America’s working families to the President’s desk.”

IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said the American Jobs Plan is both “a historic investment into modernizing our roads, bridges, ports, airports, railroads, and electrical grid,” but also a jobs plan, “creating millions of good-paying union jobs building a 21st century modern infrastructure and a clean-energy future for our nation.

“We cannot wait any longer to tackle the problem of fixing our crumbling infrastructure,” Stephenson said. “Every day the federal government does not act is another day we fall further behind our foreign competitors. And the looming threat of climate change means we must move now to invest in clean-energy technology that will slash carbon emissions and put millions to work.”


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