Officials and Stakeholders React to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan
On Wednesday, March 31st, President Joe Biden unveiled his “American Jobs Plan.” President Biden’s latest investment proposal stands at $2.3 trillion and includes $571 billion in additional spending for transportation infrastructure nationwide. Such massive investment resulted in quite a few reactions from politicians and industry stakeholders alike.
In a press release, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that President Biden’s plan is “a visionary, once-in-a-century investment in the American people and in America’s future.” Pelosi emphasized that the plan would create “millions of good-paying union jobs” while simultaneously “turbocharging America’s global competitiveness.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) voiced similar approval for the plan. The Majority Leader was particularly delighted to see that the plan includes Syracuse’s I-81 as “a poster child for enlightened infrastructure policy.” Additionally, he applauded the bill for helping “pay for tearing down urban highways to reconnect and transform neighborhoods” previously excluded from significant investment.
Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure was also excited to hear about the plan, stating that “President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is visionary and exactly what people across this country have been asking for from national leaders for years, even decades.”
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) hailed the environmental components of the proposal as groundbreaking, claiming that “the American Jobs Plan is a bold, transformative infrastructure proposal to revitalize our economy and clean up our nation’s largest emitters of climate pollution—the transportation and power sectors.”
However, not everyone was receptive to the American Jobs Plan, with critics decrying its supposed partisan nature and harmful funding mechanisms. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made clear his disappointment in the proposal, stating that, “our nation could use a serious, targeted infrastructure plan. There would be bipartisan support for a smart proposal.” Senator McConnell went on to say that “the latest liberal wish-list… is a major missed opportunity” and more like a “Trojan horse” for tax hikes that would eliminate jobs and depress wages.
Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, agreed that the “country desperately needs Congress to find common ground to make smart, responsible investments in our infrastructure.” He expressed “hope the focus will be on proposals that can in fact gain bipartisan support.”
Senator Shelley Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works decried the “partisan proposal” and claimed that it exceeds the boundaries of what can be considered infrastructure. She stated President Biden’s plan is a “clear attempt to transform the economy by advancing progressive priorities in an unprecedented way” while decreasing jobs nationwide and burdening the American economy with taxes.
Industry organizers also had their fair share of reactions to the proposal.
Amtrak’s CEO Bill Flynn said that “President Biden’s infrastructure plan is what this nation has been waiting for… With this federal investment, Amtrak will create jobs and improve equity across cities, regions, and the entire country – and we are ready to deliver.” Amtrak also released an updated service map for 2035, which includes significant existing service enhancements and over 30 new routes.
Labor groups across the country hailed the American Jobs Plan as a move in the right direction. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a press release that the proposal “brings us one step closer to repairing, rebuilding and restoring our country.” Additionally, President Greg Regan of the Transportation Trades Division of the AFL-CIO claimed that, “President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan is our chance to create the America that we dream of – one where economic stability is achievable, where good jobs are abundant, and where our transportation system and infrastructure are the envy of the world.” The International Brotherhood of Teamsters also lauded the plan, claiming that it will promote “job creation and enact worker protections.”
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA)and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) both applauded the plan, saying that it “puts us on the path to increase access to opportunities for all Americans and build more equitable communities” as well as “shore up and modernize our national multimodal transportation system for decades to come,” respectively.
Some organizations were less enthusiastic about the American Jobs Plan. While Neil Bradley, executive vice president of the U.S Chamber of Commerce, appreciated President Biden’s commitment to making “infrastructure a top priority,” he called the proposal “dangerously misguided” in its funding proposals. Vice President Bradley stated that U.S Chamber of Commerce will “strongly oppose the general tax increases proposed by the administration which will slow the economic recovery and make the U.S. less competitive globally – the exact opposite of the goals of the infrastructure plan.”
The National Association of Manufacturers was similarly apprehensive to increasing taxes to fund the plan, claiming that “raising taxes on manufacturers would fundamentally undermine our ability to lead this recovery. Our industry fought for decades to achieve a tax system that includes competitive rates and modern international tax provisions.”
For now, it is up to Congress to begin the lengthy process of realizing President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, and Eno will be here to make sure you stay updated on all of the relevant news.