Here’s what’s in Biden’s infrastructure proposal

President Biden on Wednesday will detail a sweeping $2.25 trillion package to invest in domestic infrastructure and boost job creation, embarking on his next major legislative push following the passage of his coronavirus relief plan.

Biden’s proposal, branded as “The American Jobs Plan,” is broken up into four main parts: transportation infrastructure, modern infrastructure like broadband and upgrading buildings, investing in the care economy to aid health workers and funding innovation and research and development of future technologies.

“We think that these are investments that we, as a country, cannot afford not to make,” an administration official told reporters. “This plan reflects the president’s commitment to recognizing the moment that we are in as an important moment to demonstrate that the United States and democracies can deliver for the people that they serve and that the stakes of this moment are high.”

The proposal will cost roughly $2 trillion over an eight-year period, the official said, and the White House is proposing to pay for it entirely through reforming the corporate tax code, leaving other measures like the wealth tax or raising the capital gains tax on certain Americans off the table for now.

By raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, the proposal would be paid for in 15 years, the official said. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 lowered the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Biden is likely to run into opposition from Republicans who have balked at major tax increases and who overwhelmingly supported lowering the corporate tax rate during the Trump administration. Moderate Democrats have also warned that any alterations to the tax code should include lifting the cap on the state and local deduction.

The White House has already been engaging with Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill in hopes of attracting bipartisan support for the package, but officials have not ruled out using budget reconciliation in order to pass the bill without GOP support in the 50-50 Senate. Officials have noted that Biden is open to ideas about how to improve or change the package, including how it is paid for.

“This is the beginning of our process. The president is going to lay out this plan tomorrow. He is going to describe to the nation and make the case for the urgency of the moment,” the administration official said. “And we will begin, and already have begun, to do extensive outreach to our counterparts in Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to build on the plan, to listen, to solicit input and to identify how we can move forward most effectively here.”

The official said that the plan would create “millions and millions” of jobs but did not offer a specific estimate.

Biden is proposing a $620 billion investment in transportation infrastructure to repair 20,000 miles of roads and highways, fix bridges and boost federal funding for public transit. The funding will also go toward transitioning to electric vehicles by building a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers and electrifying at least 20 percent of the school bus fleet.

The proposal also includes $650 billion to invest in American lives at home, specifically to expand broadband access to underserved and rural communities, replace all of the nation’s lead pipes, lay thousands of miles of new transmission lines and repair schools, child care centers, federal buildings and veterans hospitals. The funding would also cap abandoned mines and orphan oil and gas wells.

The third part of Biden’s proposal focuses on enhancing the care economy by expanding access to long-term care services under Medicaid and expanding job opportunities for home care workers.

The Biden plan will call on Congress to allocate $400 billion for expanded access to home and community-based services for elderly people and people with disabilities.

The proposal also emphasizes that the expansion would create union jobs that would specifically benefit low-income and minority communities since caregivers are disproportionately women of color.

The final prong of Biden’s proposal calls for investments in “technologies of the future” to create additional jobs in up-and-coming industries. Biden will ask Congress to spend $180 billion on research and development infrastructure to make the United States more competitive.

The funding proposal includes a $50 billion investment in the National Science Foundation, $30 billion for efforts to spur innovation in rural areas, $35 billion in efforts to develop climate solutions and $46 billion in federal buying power to accelerate clean energy efforts.

The research and development component will also aim to eliminate racial and gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and math fields through investments in historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions.

Biden will lay out the plan in a speech in Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon. Officials say that the infrastructure package is the first part in a two-prong recovery package that the White House is rolling out, with the second part expected to focus on child care and health care. Biden will likely outline the second part of his plan in April.

The new legislative push comes less than a month after Congress passed Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to help support school reopenings and vaccinations and send assistance to Americans and businesses hurting due to the pandemic and related economic recession.

Tags America Jobs Plan biden administration Infrastructure Joe Biden
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