By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs
On March 31, President Joe Biden announced his administration’s ambitious plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure. The American Jobs Plan is an eight-year, $2.3 trillion proposal making significant investments in the country’s highways and bridges, ports, broadband networks, energy grids, buildings, and water infrastructure, which is aligned with the LIFT America Act introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March.
Specifically, the bill would make the following investments:
- Water (lead pipe replacement, etc.): $111 billion
- Energy: $100 billion
- Broadband: $100 billion
- Highways and Bridges: $571 billion
- Airports: $25 billion
- Ports: $117 billion
- Resiliency (improvements to Federal buildings): $50 billion
The spur in construction spending directly and indirectly related to this massive investment can potentially provide ample opportunities for PHCC contractors nationwide, in addition to helping the country recover economically from the COVID pandemic while making much-needed improvements to our nation’s infrastructure, which most recently received a “C-“ from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The plan is still in its initial stages as the White House indicated its desire to collect stakeholder input. PHCC Legislative Affairs is in the process of making arrangements to meet with administration officials and key congressional committees to advocate for its infrastructure priorities. The administration would need support from Congress to implement the plan, with congressional Democrats seemingly fully onboard with the President’s plan while Republicans are hesitant about the proposed corporate tax increases and rollback of the Republican-supported tax reform law passed at the end of 2017 to pay for the bill. Democratic leadership in Congress indicated it may force the legislation through the process of reconciliation (the same process used to pass the most recent COVID relief bill last month) if they do not garner enough Republican support. The Biden administration and Congress are aiming to pass a bill by mid-summer, but, with less than six working weeks in Congress, this may be a heavy lift.
PHCC has been advocating for robust water infrastructure funding before key congressional committees for several years and has concerns about certain environmental proposals and labor provisions that need to be addressed before offering any support for the president’s plan. Please contact Mark Valentini, director of Legislative Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 752-9871 for any questions, concerns, or if you have any input you or your members would like to offer on the president’s plan.
Director of Legislative Affairs , PHCC-National Association