Senate Appropriations Committee Holds Hearing on President Biden’s ‘American Jobs Plan’
May 3, 2021
Following the release of President Biden’s ‘American Jobs Plan’ earlier last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing where key Administration officials testified. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge each had the opportunity to testify to the Administration’s new plan before the full Committee. Witness testimony focused on how the plan intends to spur job growth across the U.S. while also promoting equity in the programs it seeks to advance.
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg spoke of the plan, first referencing the crucial need for the creation of American jobs considering the ongoing pandemic and the climate crisis that he says is hurting American workers. Secretary Buttigieg stated that, “the American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet this consequential moment and win the future for the country we all serve,” adding that “the plan will improve more than 20,000 miles of roads and 10,000 bridges.” While the plan focuses on the nation’s physical infrastructure, the Administration’s climate goals have been considered in every proposal as every infrastructure decision has real impact on the climate. Secretary Buttigieg also shared how the Administration’s plan will deliver equity by allotting 40 percent of the benefits of the plan’s climate investments to flow to underserved communities.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan followed Secretary Buttigieg, continuing to make the case for how this plan, while focusing primarily on physical infrastructure, reaches far beyond. He shared that infrastructure in the 21st century means “investing in our electrical grid and building more resilient transmission. It means revitalizing digital infrastructure to expand access to reliable, high-speed broadband internet in every pocket of the country, especially rural areas and underserved communities.” He went on to share how this plan ensures environmental justice and equity in its approach and in the programs it supports, including through a $111 billion investment in water infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water for all Americans and specifically those in rural areas.
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s testimony focused on how the plan will create well-paying jobs for more Americans. She mentioned three key areas this plan looks to make strategic investments to promote American jobs: 1) expanding access to broadband, 2) strengthening our supply chain for critical industries, and 3) training and up-skilling our workforce.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge shared how the plan addresses the affordable housing crisis, noting that “the plan invests $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.”
For more information on the $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan, please reference ASME’s previous article President Biden Announces $2.25 Trillion Infrastructure Plan.
To view the full hearing, please visit: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/hearings/the-american-jobs-plan-infrastructure-climate-change-and-investing-in-our-nations-future.