President-Elect Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Plans
By Bellevue’s Julie Platt
During the Presidential transition, Bellevue Strategies will be spotlighting President-elect Joe Biden’s different policy platforms that will impact our clients. Although many of these plans may not become law, they give us an understanding of how the President-elect will govern.
This week we will be focusing on President-elect Biden’s Infrastructure plans.
If you have any suggestions for what you like us to cover, please email Julie Platt.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have called his infrastructure plan “Build Back Better.” The overall price for this plan is $1.3 trillion. Overall, this plan does not provide or specify where revenue will come from. Similar to President Obama’s plan, the Biden administration infrastructure plan will work directly with cities, instead of going through the state department of transportation.
I. Infrastructure: The Biden-Harris proposal calls for spending $50 billion his first year in office on repairing existing roads and bridges. $1 billion a year will go into a grant program to help cities transition to automated vehicles. The plan also doubles funding for BUILD and INFRA grants, increases funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, and spends all harbor maintenance fees on their intended purpose.
II. Clean Energy: A large part of the Biden’s-Harris infrastructure plan is investing in clean energy. His goals include making it easier for mobility to be powered by electricity and clean fuels, including commuter trains, school and transit buses, ferries, and passenger vehicles. The plan also looks to reform and extend tax incentives that generate energy efficiency and to establish technology-neutral Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Standards (EECES) for utilities and grid operations.
Another interesting aspect of the Biden-Harris infrastructure plan includes direct cash rebates and low-cost financing for families who upgrade electric home appliances, install more efficient windows, and cut residential energy bills. This is similar to a plan that the Obama administration administered.
III. Auto-industry:A large portion of the Biden-Harris Infrastructure plan is focused on the auto industry and the improvements and necessary changes that need to be made. For example, in their plan, they call for leveraging the power of the federal government from purchasing power, R&D, tax, trade, and investment policies to ensure that America becomes the global leader in the manufacture of electric vehicles. The plan also makes a public investment in automobile infrastructure, including the creation of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.
The plan also calls for making a historic commitment to purchasing clean vehicles for federal, state, tribal, postal, and local fleets.
IV. Rail and municipal transit networks: As an avid supporter of Amtrak and our nation’s rail system, this plan envisions building a cleaner and faster rail system throughout the U.S. Biden will tap existing federal grant and loan programs in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and improve and streamline the loan process.
To improve our nation’s municipal rail system, the Biden-Harris plan aims to provide all Americans in municipalities of more than 100,000 people with quality public transportation by 2030. Also, to improve our municipal transit networks, an additional focus on helping cities and towns invest in infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of e-scooters and other micro-mobility vehicles and integrate technologies like machine-learning optimized traffic lights.
V. Tech Companies:According to TechCrunch, President-elect Biden’s infrastructure plan would benefit tech companies that are focused on next-generation telecommunications and utility infrastructure, transportation, housing, and construction tech around energy efficiency. Additionally, President-elect Biden’s plan is focused on a clean energy economy, which some analysts believe will be a huge opportunity to put people back to work in clean energy.
VI.Worker and Unions President-elect Biden’s infrastructure plan also includes policies to build work power and raise wages. He hopes to pass the Right to Organize (PRO) Act that provides union and bargaining rights for public service workers and stop the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. Additionally, Biden will require that companies receiving procurement contracts are using taxpayer dollars to pay $15 an hour, provide paid leave, maintain fair overtime and scheduling practices, and guarantee a choice to join a union and bargain collectively.
VII. Schools and early learning facilities: The Biden-Harris plan builds upon the Rebuild America’s Schools Act by allocating specific funding to be used to repair schools that have significant health risks such as bad ventilation and unclean drinking water. Second, additional funding will be used to build cutting-edge, energy-efficient, innovative, climate-resilient campuses.
VIII. Funding During economic downturns—when states’ tax revenues decrease and social services spending increases—state-funded infrastructure is likely to suffer from neglect. During these times, the federal government will distribute the infrastructure funding, and the spending will come from municipal and state governments.
Three-quarters of infrastructure investment is made at the state and local level, yet the remote possibility of federal funding encourages governors, mayors, and county executives to postpone increasing infrastructure investment.