Politics Biden plan spends billions to 'redress historic inequities'
3 losers and 2 winners from Biden’s first press conference
Winner: A return to normalcy. Loser: Americans still worried about the Covid-19 pandemic.A White House press corps that has been waiting impatiently for its turn to question the president directly spent about an hour peppering Biden with questions about the surge of unaccompanied minors at the US-Mexico border, how to address the threat posed by China, his thoughts on the Senate filibuster, and whether he’d run for president in 2024. (It’s his “expectation” that he will.
President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan contains funds for much more than roads and bridges – and would spend billions to address 'persistent income inequalities' in struggling neighborhoods.
The plan is filled with language setting out a specific goal of steering jobs, grants, apprenticeships, and other benefits to minorities and women. And while Republicans have focused on its price tag and tax cuts to pay for it, they have begun to focus on its workforce development and other programs that they say pads brick and mortar proposals.
A plan for 15 decarbonized hydrogen demonstration projects – meant to reduce carbon output by industry – would target them for 'distressed communities,' relying on a production tax credit to encourage them.
Biden Doesn’t Need to Be FDR or LBJ to Change America
A “Great Society” may be out of reach, but a markedly better one is possible.Unless: he’s merely passed the largest package of “temporary expedients to dampen hardship during a crisis” since…the one Donald Trump signed his own into law last year. Now, with no emergency to force the hands of his party’s moderates in the Senate, the president is poised to pass nothing of great consequence, forcing his clear-eyed progressive supporters to grapple with the likelihood that “the best of Bidenism is already in the rearview mirror.
Amid a history of not-in-my-backyard clashes, the plan includes steps for carbon capture facilities 'ensuring that overburdened communities are protected from increases in cumulative pollution.'
A $48 billion program would go for 'American workforce development infrastructure and worker protection,' and is described as through successful pre-apprenticeship programs such as the Women in Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Occupations.'
Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, explained
Biden’s new plan takes an expansive view of infrastructure.The bulk of Biden’s plan deals with upgrading America’s roads, bridges, and public transit, but it also takes an expansive definition of the word “infrastructure,” expanding long-term care for the elderly through Medicaid, banning exclusionary zoning, and investing in community-based violence reduction programs, among many other things.
'This will ensure these underserved groups have greater access to new infrastructure jobs,' according to the plan.
Included amid 'persistent economic inequalities' would be $12 billion for workforce development in 'underserved communities,' with as well as $5 billion over eight years for 'evidence-based community violence prevention programs.'
'President Biden also will call upon Congress to ensure that new jobs created in clean energy, manufacturing, and infrastructure are open and accessible to women and people of color. President Biden is calling on Congress to also specifically target funding to workers facing some of the greatest challenges,' the plan says.
All of it would move in the large $2.3 trillion package – with Senate Democratic leaders hinting they may seek to move it under new 'reconciliation' instructions to protect it from a likely GOP filibuster. The anticipated roadblocks for other legislation has induced Biden and his team to push a raft of proposals into the single plan.
Grassley and Johnson seek access to FISA docs on Hunter Biden's Chinese business associates
Two top Republicans are asking the Justice Department and intelligence community to hand over to Congress any and all intelligence records tied to Chinese government-connected foreign nationals who had business dealings with Hunter Biden. © Provided by Washington Examiner Concerns about President Joe Biden’s son gained broader attention late last year after multiple outlets reported that he is being federally investigated in connection with his taxes and potentially related to his overseas business with China and other countries. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen.
Data have shown that minorities have been hard hit by the coronavirus and its economic effects. Minorities and women were also a key part of Biden's winning electoral coalition.
The plan was developed 'with equity in mind,' it says.
'Too often, past transportation investments divided communities – like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse – or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options,' it says. The Claiborne Expressway cuts through the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Atouted by the Mayor of Syracuse proposes to remove 1.4 miles of elevated roadway that sliced through part of a mostly black neighborhood in the 1950s and 60s.
McConnell says GOP will fight Biden's plan 'every step of the way'
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is vowing to fight President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure package 'every step of the way.'He spoke to reporters in his home state of Kentucky two days after Biden phoned him to talk up the plan – which has been touted as a potential area for bipartisan cooperation.
'The President's plan includes $20 billion for a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and ensure new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access,' it says.
Funds to mitigate floods and disasters are also couched in language of safeguarding infrastructure and defending 'vulnerable communities.'
'People of color and low-income people are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events,' it states.
A section of the package on prevailing wages and union jobs notes states that: 'This is especially important for workers of color and for women, who have endured discrimination and systematic exclusion from economic opportunities for generations.'
'All of us deserve to enjoy America's promise in full — and our nation's leaders have a responsibility to overcome racial, gender, and other inequalities to make it happen. To that end, the President is calling on Congress to create new, good-quality union jobs for American workers by leveraging their grit and ingenuity to address the climate crisis and build a sustainable infrastructure,' it stsates.
Biden 'Biden is calling on Congress to update the social contract that provides workers with a fair shot to get ahead, overcome racial and other inequalities that have been barriers for too many Americans, expand the middle class, and strengthen communities,' according to the plan.
Hunter Biden admits laptop 'certainly’ ‘could be’ his
Hunter Biden admitted the laptop whose hard drive contents were obtained by the media in late 2020 “certainly could be” his after all, with President Joe Biden’s son suggesting the laptop could have been stolen or hacked and hinting without evidence that Russian intelligence might be behind it. © Patrick Semansky/AP President Joe Biden walks with his son Hunter Biden, left, Hunter Biden's wife Melissa Cohen and son Beau, before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, March 26, 2021. The Bidens are spending the weekend at their home in Delaware.
The plan, which the White House released Wednesday as the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd was getting underway, includes a proposed $10 billion to enforce its workforce proposals, while calling for increased penalties for employers who break safety and health rules.
'President Biden is calling on Congress to provide the federal government with the tools it needs to ensure employers are providing workers with good jobs – including jobs with fair and equal pay, safe and healthy workplaces, and workplaces free from racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination and harassment,' it states.
Most Republican critics of the plan have focused on its tax hikes, while singling out its push for green infrastructure.
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy retweeted a column by Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel saying roads and bridges accounted for 'a mere $115 billion of President Biden's infrastructure proposal. The rest includes climate subsidies and social welfare.'
Also blasting the plan was Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio – a center-right lawmaker from a rust belt state who is among lawmakers retiring in 2022.
'At its core, the president’s plan calls for a $620 billion investment in transportation infrastructure. However, the total soars to $3 trillion with its inclusion of these broad policy priorities that are a far cry away from what we’ve ever defined as infrastructure," said Portman.
'The Biden Administration’s plan redefines infrastructure to include hundreds of billions of dollars of spending on priorities like health care, workforce development, and research and development.'
He called it the 'wrong approach.'
'The largest tax hike in American history in order to pay for the kind of Green New Deal spending outlined by President Biden today should be a nonstarter in Congress,' said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the chair of the House Republican Conference.
To pay for the plan, Biden is calling for tax hikes like an increase in the corporate rate, although even after a period of 15 years they would not pay for all of the plan, leaving about $1 trillion not paid for.
Meanwhile, some progressive Democrats are already attacking the plan for not being big enough – and fretting that health care and other 'social infrastructure' components might die if they all get included in a second package that might be less politically popular.
'This is not nearly enough,' said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY.). 'The important context here is that it's $2.25T spread out over 10 years. For context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year *alone,* with some provision lasting 2 years.'
Hunter Biden vs. the Four Horsemen of the Crackocalypse .
Hunter Biden vs. the Four Horsemen of the Crackocalypse (yes, that’s in the book). That makes the book touching in many places, but unconvincing in others. The most moving writing in the book has nothing to do with politics, or even drugs, but focuses instead on Hunter’s relationship with his brother, Beau, who succumbed to brain cancer in 2015, just as his political fortunes appeared to be ascendant. Back in 1972, Hunter and Beau survived a car accident that killed their mother and sister, a catastrophe he describes with the following chilling detail: “Her head simply swings.