Potholes in downtown Lansing | Susan J. Demas
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday in Pennsylvania will unveil a nearly $2 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild highways and bridges, along with funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next eight years, an administration official told reporters on Tuesday night.
Alongside the expansive infrastructure plan, the president will release a blueprint to increase corporate taxes that, if passed, would pay for the overhaul within the next 15 years. The plan would make tax changes such as raising the corporate tax rate and preventing companies from writing off expenses that are accrued from offshoring jobs.
“The focus on corporate tax reform here reflects both the president’s long standing commitments on the campaign but also a practical perspective” that improvements in infrastructure and the nation’s productive output can make U.S. investment attractive, the administration official said, speaking on background.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor from Indiana, has said modernizing the nation’s infrastructure is a top priority. Earlier this month, he even gave a nod to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s slogan to “fix the damn roads.” Improving Michigan’s roads and bridges was her administration’s top priority before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, although her 45-cent gas tax hike was shot down by the GOP-led Legislature.
We can reimagine our infrastructure for future generations. We can also "fix the damn roads" we already have.
We can and must do both.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) March 16, 2021
The Biden administration said in a fact sheet that revenue from corporations would help provide funding for the package by raising corporate taxes from 21% to 28%. The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank that’s part of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, estimates that reform alone is worth $730 billion over 10 years.
The plan also aims to bring clean energy manufacturing jobs to communities that rely on the coal industry in an effort to encourage manufacturers to locate in those areas.
It would invest $100 billion in workforce development programs to help set high school students on a career path, as well as ensure that new jobs in energy, manufacturing and infrastructure are accessible to women and people of color.
The package, as part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, would fund typical infrastructure projects such as rebuilding roads, advancing the country’s transition to electric vehicle charging stations, and combating climate change.
But the plan also provides social services such as investing $12 billion in community college infrastructure and $25 billion for childcare programs for infant and toddler care in high-need areas.
Biden is set to deliver remarks on the proposal later Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Here’s some of what the infrastructure plan would do:
- Modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads and streets.
- Repair 10 of the most significant bridges in need of fixing, and repair 10,000 of the worst, smaller bridges.
- Double federal funding for public transportation and bring rail and bus services to communities that have been systematically excluded from those resources.
- Build a network of 500,000 electrical vehicle chargers, replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify 20% of the yellow bus fleet (school buses).
- Provide $50 billion to make infrastructure more climate resilient and target 40% of that investment to disadvantaged communities.
- Pay for extending broadband to rural Americans, improving water quality, strengthening the electric grid and building affordable housing.
- Replace 100% of lead pipes and service lines in the U.S., and reduce lead exposure in 400,000 schools and child care facilities.
- Spend $400 billion in expanding access to affordable home or community based care for thousands of seniors and people with disabilities to support long-term care.
Advance Editor Susan J. Demas contributed to this story.
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