Last week, the Biden Administration released the American Jobs Plan. This is the first of a two-part legislative effort under the administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda to invest in our children’s future and build towards a stronger and more equitable economy—with provisions to address long-standing racial disparities and funding designated specifically for underserved Black communities and other communities of color.
This $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure proposal was unveiled just weeks after Congress passed and President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides emergency relief to address the immediate public health and economic crises facing children and families, especially Black and Latino families.
The American Jobs Plan would largely be paid for by rolling back unfair tax breaks for corporations and includes the following investments:
- $400 billion to support the care economy, including expanding access to home and community-based services under Medicaid and building state infrastructure to improve the quality of services and to support workers.
- $213 billion for affordable and sustainable housing, including building and preserving more than a million affordable and sustainable rental units; building and rehabilitating more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers; making much-needed repairs to public housing; and eliminating exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies.
- $137 billion for public schools, early learning centers, and community colleges, including upgrading and building new public schools to ensure our children and teachers have a safe and healthy place to learn and teach, upgrading child care facilities and increasing the supply of child care in areas that need it most, and implementing an expanded tax credit to encourage businesses to build child care facilities at places of work. The bill also invests in community college facilities that protect the health and safety of students and faculty, narrows funding inequities, and grows local economies.
- $111 billion to ensure clean, safe drinking water in all communities through replacing lead pipes and service lines, improving water structure, and creating more good-paying jobs.
- $100 billion for high-speed broadband to reduce the cost of broadband internet service and reach 100 percent high-speed broadband coverage.
- $100 billion for workforce development, including pairing job creation efforts with next generation training programs, targeting workforce training and development programs in underserved communities, and building the capacity of the existing workforce development and worker protection systems.
- $300 billion for manufacturing and small businesses, including strengthening manufacturing supply chains for critical goods, making investments to prevent severe job losses from future pandemics, driving innovation and clean energy production, creating a national network of small business incubators and innovation hubs, and partnering with rural and Tribal communities to create jobs and economic growth in rural communities.
- $100 billion for electric infrastructure to increase cheaper, cleaner electricity where it is needed most and create more good-paying jobs tied to modernizing power generation and delivering clean electricity.
- $621 billion for transportation infrastructure including $174 billion to create jobs in the electric vehicles (EV) market and offer rebates and tax incentives for American-made EVs; $115 billion to repair highways, bridges, and roads; $85 billion to modernize existing public transit and expand systems to meet demand; $80 billion to enhance passenger and freight rail service and build new lines in high-potential locations; $50 billion to build infrastructure resilience; $45 billion to address historic transportation inequities and invest in equitable and sustainable transportation systems; and $42 billion to improve airports, water transit, and ports.
This proposal is expected to be soon followed by an additional economic recovery package that will likely include long overdue investments in affordable child care, paid family and medical leave, major expansions in health insurance coverage, an expansion to the Child Tax Credit (CTC), access to community college, and more. Taken together, these relief and recovery packages will address families’ ongoing needs and ensure a strong economy and future for our children. Congress must now build on President Biden’s proposal and invest in our nation’s most precious resource—our children— ensuring we do not return to a fragile and inequitable status quo. Children were experiencing hardship long before COVID-19 and they need not only temporary emergency responses but also robust, long-term, and permanent investments in the structures and supports that will ensure their well-being.