Biden’s American Jobs Plan met with criticism from progressive activists and environmentalists

“There are a lot wins for us in this package. Despite those wins, the plan lacks a commitment to the full scale of transformation that is needed of our economy.”

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Yesterday President Biden introduced his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan to help boost the country’s infrastructure and fight climate change. 

The White House website writes: 

The United States of America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet we rank 13th when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure. After decades of disinvestment, our roads, bridges, and water systems are crumbling. Our electric grid is vulnerable to catastrophic outages. Too many lack access to affordable, high-speed Internet and to quality housing. The past year has led to job losses and threatened economic security, eroding more than 30 years of progress in women’s labor force participation. It has unmasked the fragility of our caregiving infrastructure. And, our nation is falling behind its biggest competitors on research and development (R&D), manufacturing, and training. It has never been more important for us to invest in strengthening our infrastructure and competitiveness, and in creating the good-paying, union jobs of the future.

His plan is said to be paid for with a series of tax increases on corporations, reports Reuters. On the 2020 campaign trail, Biden touted his Build Back Better package and pledged to reverse the steep decline in U.S. infrastructure, promising to invest in everything from ports and airports to schools and universal broadband.

According to USA Today, Biden billed the sweeping jobs proposal as a domestic investment not seen in the U.S.A. since the construction of the interstate highways in the 1950s and the space race a decade later.

The plan seeks to reshape an American economy struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, while positioning the United States to fight climate change and out-compete China in manufacturing, writes USA Today journalist Joey Garrison. 

“America has underinvested in infrastructure for more than a generation. The devil is always in the details, but it is a promising sign that President Biden is thinking big and bold, ” says Aaron Klein, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 

Others, however, do not think this move is as “bold” as it should be. Progressive advocacy groups and environmentalists say the plan is inadequate in its current form. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes the proposed $2.26 trillion does not come close to meeting the scale of the unemployment, inequality, and climate crises facing the nation and world, Common Dreams reports. 

The Sunrise Movement also agrees coming out with a statement saying: 

There are a lot wins for us in this package: the funding of a Civilian Climate Corps, the commitment to the creation of good union jobs and the passage of the PRO Act, finally delivering 100% universal clean water in the United States of America, an energy efficiency and clean energy standard to decarbonize our power sector and incentivize mass deployment of renewable energy, deep equity and justice investments in disadvantaged communities, and more. Despite those wins, the plan lacks a commitment to the full scale of transformation that is needed of our economy.

With many saying this is just a start to the funds needed to really make change, it seems as though the fight to better U.S. infrastructure and tackle the climate crisis is not over.

Greenpeace USA says it best:

The president’s ambition in this moment does not meet the scale of the interlocking crises facing our country. It is not enough to go back to normal.

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