Last week, Joe Biden and his team showed the country the initial payoff of the joint Biden-Sanders platform task force by the unveiling of his Build Back Better Infrastructure Plan.
It is the second installment of the Democratic Presidential Nominee’s Build Back Better Plan for the United States.
What is in the Infrastructure Plan?
The two trillion-dollar plan, that would be paid for with a rise in the corporate tax rate, successfully bridges the goals and priorities of both liberal and pragmatic progressives to modernize the nation’s infrastructure and combat climate change. According to reporting from NPR and the New York Times, It includes:
- “An irreversible path” to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- “Achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.”
- “Upgrade four million buildings.”
- “Weatherize two million homes over four years to increase energy efficiency.”
- “Would seek to shift major cities toward public transportation.”
- “Create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.”
- “Establishing an office of environmental and climate justice at the Justice Department.”
- “A goal for disadvantaged communities to receive 40 percent of all clean energy and infrastructure benefits.”
- “Expanding broadband access to tribal lands.”
- “New research funding and tax incentives for carbon-capture technology.”
- “Encouraging the installation of “millions of new solar panels and tens of thousands of wind turbines,” but also keeping in place existing nuclear energy plants.”
Please click on the below links to see more details of the Biden Build Back Better Infrastructure Plan.
Vice President Biden explains the Infrastructure Plan to the American People
In comments delivered to the American People last week at the Chase Center in Wilmington Delaware, the former Vice President said:
“These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of both the American economy and the physical health and safety of the American people. Even if we weren’t facing a pandemic and an economic crisis, we should be making these investments anyway. One in five miles of our highways are still in “poor condition” according to the American Engineers. Ten thousands… actually, tens of thousands of bridges are in disrepair, and some on the verge of collapse, presenting a clear and present danger to people’s lives. Tens of millions of Americans lack access to high-speed broadband. To get our people to work and our kids at school safely, to get our kids to market swiftly, to power clean energy revolution in this country, we need to modernize America’s infrastructure.”
“And there’s no more consequential challenge that we must meet in the next decade than the onrushing climate crisis. Left unchecked, it is literally an existential threat to the health of our planet and to our very survival. That’s not up for dispute, Mr. President.”
Mr. Biden then chastised Mr. Trump for failing to keep his promises on infrastructure (which in actuality, only appear to be deregulation measures for businesses to get around on environmental and safety guidelines.)
Later, he mocked Trump for calling climate change a hoax and peddling the outlandish position that windmills cause cancer.
Biden countered that by saying:
“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is a hoax. When I think about climate change, the word I think of is jobs, good-paying union jobs that will put Americans to work, making the air cleaner for our kids to breathe, restoring our crumbling roads, and bridges, and ports, making it faster, cheaper, and cleaner to transport American made goods all across the country and around the world. Jobs. Jobs to build and install a network of 500,000 charging stations along our existing and new highways we built across this country.”
“When Donald Trump thinks about renewable energy, he sees windmills somehow causing cancer. When I think about these windmills, I see American manufacturing, American workers racing to dominate the global market. I see the steel that will be needed for those windmill platforms, towers, and ladders that can be made in small manufacturers like the McGregor Industries. I was up in Scranton last week. I see the union train and certified men and women who will manufacture and install it all. I see the ports that will come back to life, the longshoreman, the shipbuilders, the communities they support. When Donald Trump talks about improving efficiency by retrofitting lighting systems with LED bulbs, you remember what he said? He said he doesn’t like LED because “the light is no good. I always look orange.” The lights no good. I always look orange.”
The Democratic nominee also reminded the audience that he and Barack Obama plan enacted the largest infrastructure plan in United States History with the American Recovery Act in 2009, noting:
“We made the largest investment in clean energy in the history of the United States of America, 90 billion dollars. And it put us on a path toward a thriving, clean energy economy, powering new economic growth and reducing energy costs.”
“Our administration rescued the auto industry and helped it retool, made solar energy the same cost as traditional energy, weatherized more than a million homes. And we’ll do it again, but this time bigger, and faster, and smarter.”
After listing some of the initiatives his plan would sponsor, Mr. Biden concluded his remarks, speaking to the optimism, capability, and innovative spirit of the American People, saying:
“Look, these aren’t pie in the sky dreams. These are actionable policies that we can get to work on right away. We can live up to our responsibilities, meet the challenges of a world at risk of a climate catastrophe, build more climate-resilient communities, put millions of skilled workers on the job, and make life markedly better and safer for the American people all at once and benefit the world in the process.”
“The alternative, continue to ignore the facts, deny reality, focus only on technology of the last century instead of inventing the technology that will define this century. It’s just plain un-American not to. This is all that Donald Trump and the Republicans offer, backward-looking policies that will harm the environment, make communities less healthy, hold back economic promise, while other countries race ahead. It’s a mindset that doesn’t have any faith in the capacity of the American people to compete, to innovate, and to win. It’s never been a good bet to bet against the American people. And, when you do, it will exact a deadly cost.”
“I know better. I know you do as well. I know what the American people are capable of. I know what American workers can accomplish when given the room to run. I know that climate change is a challenge that’s going to define our American future. I know meeting the challenge will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, protect our planet for future generations. And, if I have the honor of being elected president, we’re not just going to tinker around the edges. We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity and meet this moment in history. We’re going to get to work delivering results right away on day one. We’re going to reverse Trump’s rollbacks of 100 public health and environmental rules, and then forge a path to greater ambition. We’re going to get back into the Paris Agreement, back into the business of leading the world.”
“We’re going to lock in progress that no future president can roll back or undercut to take us backward again. Science requires a timetable for measuring progress on climate that isn’t three decades or even two. Science tells us we have nine years before the damage is irreversible. So, my time table for results is my first four years as president, the jobs that we’ll create, the investments we’ll make, and the irreversible steps we’ll take to mitigate and adapt to the climate change and put our nation on the road to net-zero emissions no later than 2050. So, let’s not waste any more time. Let’s get to work now, now. Thank you.”
To see the Democratic Presidential Nominee’s full comments on the infrastructure plan, please click on the link below.
Reaction from Arizona and New Mexico Panelists
On Friday, July 18, the Biden campaign held a roundtable of Arizona and New Mexico panelists to discuss the benefits of the Buy-Back Better Infrastructure Plan.
The panelists were:
- New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
- Arizona State Senator Rebecca Rios
- Arizona Ninth Congressional District Representative Greg Stanton
- IBEW Construction worker and Union Leader Delbert Hawk.
- Business Representative Pat Montrov
Governor Grisham said she believed in Biden’s ability to pass infrastructure through Congress and “we (the American People) deserve a leader who is respected, kind, and embodies the principals of America.”
Representative Stanton commented that the Biden plan:
“When you offer people a good plan for infrastructure, they know it is good for the country along with education (including broadband) funding. Investments in education and infrastructure pay for themselves.”
“If you want a modern economy, you need the right kind of infrastructure (roads and highways, airports, and public transportation like buses and light rail that improves the economy and improves cultural connections) and people that work in buildings that advance that cause.”
“This Build Back Better Plan, unlike Trump, will build the right infrastructure for the country including broadband for urban, rural suburban, and tribal which is the key to economic success for everyone. Broadband is the most important in the modern economy that you have access to high-speed internet.”
“…. Clean energy is the future. You want to win the future; this is the way to go. Arizona is the sun capital of the globe. We need to get it in gear and beat the Chinese. This has to be a high national and local priority.”
During the roundtable discussion, all the panelists decried “the cracks in society” amplified by the Coronavirus and touted the features of the infrastructure plan which could fill them. These include:
- Investments in clean and sustainable solar and wind energy.
- Increased opportunities for trade apprenticeships.
- Millions of new union jobs including those in construction.
- Greater access to running water, especially on Native American Communities.
- Expansion of broadband in rural, urban, suburban, and tribal nations.
- A new safe and clean utility grid.
- The upgrading of homes and commercial buildings.
- The upgrading of school buildings with better broadband, ventilation, and air conditioning.
- Transportation infrastructure in light rail and bussing.
- Reentering the Paris Climate Agreement.
Despite the many infrastructure weeks, the Trump Administration has held, it should be clear to the American People by now, after three and a half years, that an infrastructure plan that modernizes and rebuilds the country is another in a long list of broken promises by the Liar in Chief.
It is a shame because it was Republican Presidents like Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon that helped lead the way on conservation and environmental protection.
Even after Biden released his plan, Mr. Trump was out there within hours lying that the former Vice President would work to take windows out of buildings.
This incarnation of the Republican Party, since the time of Reagan, has sacrificed anything designed to make our water cleaner, our air more breathable, and the Earth less polluted on the altar of the all mighty dollar.
Voters need to remember that Republicans led by Enemy of the People Mitch McConnell, John Bohner, Paul Ryan, and the other backward reactionaries obstructed Obama-Biden efforts to enact additional infrastructure measures in that Administrations last years. They also did nothing to encourage any of Trumps (if he ever had any) infrastructure designs for the country.
That is another reason voters should elect a Democratic President and Senate (by getting rid of Senators like McConnell and McSally) as well as reelect a Democratic House.
Only then, could a significant infrastructure package with a goal of achieving long term sustainability and a serious combatting of climate change be achieved.
Joe Biden has hit eureka with his infrastructure plans and united the factions of the Democratic Party.
Voters should not take this opportunity lightly.
It may not come again.
November 3, 2020, is 106 days away.
- Primary Election Day is on August 4, 2020, and General Election Day is on November 3. 2020. Please see the below graphic for all-important voting dates.
- Please check your voter registration at vote.
- Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at vote.
- Arizona residents, mail your General Election ballot by October 28, 2020, for the November 3, 2020 election.
- Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.
- Know the voter ID requirements in your state.
- If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.
- Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.
- Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.
For supplemental reading, please click on the below links.