On March 31, President Biden outlined a massive $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal. Here’s what’s included in the plan and how it’s funded. (Blair Guild / The Washington Post)
President Biden kicked off his massive employment plan on Wednesday, setting out a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to renew the country’s infrastructure, revitalize the economy and prepare for the challenges of climate change.
“We have to move now because I am convinced that if we act now, people will look back 50 years from now and say that this was the moment America won the future,” said Biden during his speech in Pittsburgh , a city he visited shortly after starting his campaign for president.
The President highlighted the main features of the bill that the White House unveiled Wednesday, including repairing 32,000 km of highways and roads, upgrading bridges, building new rail corridors, replacing “100 percent” of the country’s lead pipes and ensuring all Americans can access the internet. This will lead to “transformational progress in our efforts to combat climate change,” he said.
“This is not a plan that is tinkering with the edges,” said Biden. “It’s a one-time investment in America, unlike anything we’ve done since building the highway system and space race decades ago.”
Biden also appealed to the plan in a populist way, pledging to “rebuild the backbone of America” and “build our economy from the bottom up”. The new jobs would be “good family raising jobs,” he said, adding that workers will have the right to organize and bargain collectively.
Several Republicans have already expressed their opposition and objected to corporate tax hikes. Meanwhile, some leftists have been pushing the government to spend even more – two fronts challenging to get the bill through Congress. Biden said he had spoken to Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, Ky., About the effort and committed to getting Republicans to the Oval Office for “good faith negotiations.”
The pandemic has exacerbated the need for this proposal, argued Biden, as more people are unemployed and struggling to support their families and rent than they did before the crisis. He also used his speech to plug the recently passed coronavirus stimuli bill.
Yet even as he announced what his government was doing to cure the country’s pandemic, his host state, Pennsylvania, was battling one of the worst virus resurrections in the country, with new cases rising and a fourth wave of disease on the horizon.