When President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Monday, he made history. This $1.2 trillion investment in our infrastructure is the largest ever, and after years of frustration and “infrastructure weeks” that became running jokes, it comes not a moment too soon.
Our great union’s proud members are ready to get to work to rebuild our nation and our economy after decades of neglect, and they will finally have the funding to do so. Specifically, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invests:
- $110 billion in rebuilding 173,000 miles of roads and 45,000 bridges.
- $65 billion in expanding broadband internet access in rural and other underserved areas.
- $55 billion to make sure Americans have access to safe and clean water.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Above all, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create good union jobs and revive not only our economy but America’s middle class. We are grateful to President Biden’s leadership and to all those in Congress, from both parties, who voted for this landmark law.
But the job isn’t done yet. Congress also urgently needs to pass the Build Back Better Act.
This groundbreaking legislation will also make history by investing $1.75 trillion in child care, home care, clean energy jobs, health care, tax fairness, immigration improvements and support for worker organizing.
The two bills combined will rebuild both our nation’s physical infrastructure and our nation’s social infrastructure, creating the support system working families need to restore true, secure middle class living standards and open new doors of opportunity.
For example, the Build Back Better Act will extend by another year the monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child that started this July thanks to passage of the American Rescue Plan. This step alone is projected to lower the child poverty rate in America by 40 percent. The Build Back Better Act will also drastically lower the cost of child care for most Americans by capping it at 7 percent of parents’ income and providing for free, universal pre-school for three- and four-year-olds. Both of these provisions will have huge positive impacts on OPCMIA members who are raising children.
The Build Back Better Act also provides for the largest expansion of affordable health care in a decade, lowering premiums for 9 million Americans. It makes the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in history, enabling the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than one million affordable homes. And again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s why I urge all OPCMIA members to call your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative today and tell them to pass the Build Back Better Act now! To do so, please either call 844-994-4554 or click on this link.
Let’s finish the job!
Daniel E. Stepano