In just his first year in office, President Joe Biden has already made history.
He signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, the largest investment ever made in our infrastructure, an achievement that eluded his predecessor. This urgently-needed bill will create 1.5 million jobs, including many for OPCMIA members. No president in my lifetime has done more to create good work for our brothers and sisters.
That alone would be enough to rank him among the best presidents ever. But he has done much more.
President Biden saved our members’ retirement security when he signed the historic $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which included the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act. In addition to ensuring that OPCMIA members will be able to retire with the dignity they were promised, the law helped ease the burden of the COVID pandemic, created jobs, reduced poverty, fed families, and provided urgently-needed relief for those who were suffering.
President Biden has been the most pro-union, pro-worker president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He appointed a building trades union member as Secretary of Labor. He created the first-ever White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment. On his first day in office, he fired the union-busting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. And he restored collective bargaining rights to federal employees.
Plus, President Biden got more federal judges confirmed in his first year in office than any president in 40 years, and all are far more likely to side with workers than management.
To top it all off, President Biden’s first year saw the creation of more than 6 million jobs, the best record of any president in history. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 percent to 3.9 percent, the biggest single-year drop in history. Unemployment claims dropped from 18 million to just 2 million. Nearly 5 million Americans gained health care coverage. And child poverty dropped to what is expected to be the lowest level ever.
In contrast to the naysayers in the news media and the lies spread by devotees of the former president, Joe Biden has kept his promises—and he did it with no margin for error in Congress. There remains much to be done, and many more obstacles to hurdle, but on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, let’s give credit where credit is due: President Biden has delivered for America’s working families.
Daniel E. Stepano