By Steve Herman*
A domestic jobs and infrastructure plan with a price tag of $2 trillion was unveiled on Wednesday by President Joe Biden.
“Our infrastructure is crumbling,” the president said during a speech in Pittsburgh, the second most-populated city in the state of Pennsylvania, which has emerged from the downfall of the domestic steel industry.
“It’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world,” Biden predicted of his American Jobs Plan, which emphasizes union-backed employment.
The plan is intended to put the United States in a position to out-compete China, which Biden said, along with other countries, “are eating our lunch.”
“Our adversaries are worried about us building this critical infrastructure,” he said, noting that the decline in America’s gross domestic product means “the rest of the world is closing in, and closing in fast.”
The U.S. economy shrank by 3.5% in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to government figures.
The president’s plan envisions, over a span of eight years, repairing 32,000 kilometers of roadways, 10 economically significant bridges and 10,000 smaller ones, getting rid of dangerous lead pipes in water systems and significantly upgrading the country’s electrical grid, computer broadband and transit systems.
Speaking for more than half an hour at the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Biden said, “I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say, ‘This was the moment that America won the future.’”
The plan comes on the heels of Biden gaining congressional approval of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief deal solely on the strength of the votes of Democratic lawmakers over unified Republican opposition.