President Biden’s US Jobs Plan: A Bold Mandate for Infrastructure Investment | Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

[co-authors: Lauren Dailey and Christina Barone]

On March 31, 2021, President Joe Biden unveiled the US Jobs Plan (the “Plan”), an eight-year, $ 2 trillion investment to modernize and improve US infrastructure, generate jobs and growth economic and promoting the national security interests of the United States. The proposed framework is a key step towards President Biden’s goal of implementing his Build Back Better plan, including investments to modernize highways and railways, modernize ports, expand electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, modernize water and energy infrastructure and expand broadband access. Along with the U.S. Jobs Plan, President Biden also proposed the Made in America tax plan, including provisions to increase revenues to support the $ 2 trillion plan over the next 15 years. The plan is high level and did not include proposed legislation.

The American employment plan

Transport infrastructure and resilience

The plan calls on Congress to invest $ 621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience, including:

  • $ 115 billion to improve 20,000 miles of highways, roads and bridges.
  • $ 174 billion to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure and encourage purchases of electric vehicles, support the transition from diesel transit vehicles, and electrify the United States Postal Service (USPS) school bus fleets.
  • $ 85 billion to modernize and expand bus, rapid transit and train services to reduce congestion and improve equitable access.
  • $ 80 billion to close Amtrak’s repair backlog, modernize the busy northeast corridor, improve and expand existing corridors, and strengthen passenger and freight rail safety.
  • $ 25 billion to modernize airports, including funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assets and a new terminal renovation support program.
  • $ 17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land entry points and ferries.
  • $ 20 billion to increase road safety for all users, including a new “Safe Streets for All” program to fund national and local “vision zero” plans to reduce accidents and fatalities.
  • $ 20 billion to ensure new projects increase opportunity and access, advance racial equity, and improve environmental justice.
  • $ 50 billion to increase the resilience of infrastructure to extreme weather events, including through subsidies and tax incentives.

Clean drinking water

The plan provides $ 111 billion to update and improve water infrastructure, including $ 45 billion to replace lead pipes and service lines, $ 56 billion in drinking water subsidies and low-cost loans. cost to disadvantaged states, tribes, territories and communities, and $ 10 billion to monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water.

Digital infrastructure

The plan recommends $ 100 billion to achieve affordable, high-speed universal broadband coverage, with a priority for public broadband networks, and ensures that funds are earmarked for broadband infrastructure on land. tribal. In addition, the plan calls for increased transparency and competition by requiring clear information on prices and removing barriers that favor private providers.

Electrical infrastructure

The plan supports a $ 100 billion investment to improve the electric transmission system with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in the power generation sector by 2035. The plan proposes that Congress develop a new authority Network deployment at the Department of Energy to leverage existing -way rights along roads and railways and support creative finance tools to boost high-priority high-voltage transmission lines. The plan also supports an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) to promote more efficient use of existing infrastructure and leverage carbon-free energy, such as nuclear and hydropower. The plan also calls for:

  • $ 5 billion for the remediation and redevelopment of the Brownfield and Superfund sites.
  • An expansion of the Economic Development Authority’s public works program, including the lifting of the $ 3 million cap on projects.

Health care infrastructure

The plan urges Congress to expand access to home and community-based services (HCBS) and expand the Money Follows the Person program that supports innovations in long-term care delivery under Medicaid. Specifically, it calls on Congress to allocate $ 400 billion to expand access to HCBS for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Manufacturing sector

The plan includes $ 300 billion to support manufacturing in the United States, strengthen supply chains and increase access to capital for domestic manufacturers, including:

  • $ 50 billion to create a new office at the Department of Commerce dedicated to monitoring national industrial capacity and financing investments to support the production of essential goods.
  • $ 46 billion in federal purchases to promote the manufacture of electric vehicles, electric charging ports and heat pumps for residential heating and commercial buildings, and to develop advanced nuclear reactors and fuel.
  • $ 52 billion in access to capital for domestic manufacturers, including an extension of the 48C tax credit program and the creation of a new financing program to support debt and equity investments in the manufacturing sector.
  • $ 50 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and research, as called for in the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act (HR7178 and S.3933).
  • $ 30 billion over four years for major new investments in medical countermeasures manufacturing, research and development (R&D) and related bio-preparation and biosafety, including investments to consolidate the strategic national stockpile.
  • $ 14 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to combine industry, academia and government to advance technologies essential to future competitiveness.
  • $ 31 billion to create a national network of small business incubators and innovation hubs, which provide small businesses in underserved communities with access to credit, venture capital and R&D funding.
  • $ 5 billion for a new rural partnership program to support the economic development of tribal nations and rural areas.

Research and development

The Plan urges Congress to increase its investment in research and development to lay the groundwork for future breakthroughs that create new businesses and jobs and increase exports, including:

  • $ 50 billion for the National Science Foundation to create a technology directorate to expand existing programs and focus on areas such as semiconductors, biotechnology, and advanced computer, communications technology and in energy.
  • $ 40 billion to modernize research infrastructure in laboratories and institutions and universities serving minorities.
  • $ 35 billion for research aimed at addressing the climate crisis, including new methods of reducing emissions, building climate resilience and climate science in general.
  • $ 15 billion to support demonstration projects for climate R&D priorities such as carbon capture and storage, offshore wind turbines, biofuels, bioproducts, quantum computing and electric vehicles, among others.

Workforce Development

The U.S. Jobs Plan aims to increase workforce development programs and improve racial and gender equity through an investment of $ 100 billion in various programs. In addition, the plan calls for the adoption of the Law on the Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO) (HR842) to strengthen and protect the right of workers to join a trade union. In addition, the plan stresses the need to strengthen enforcement mechanisms to ensure the rules of safety, health and non-discrimination at work.

Houses, schools and commercial buildings

The plan recommends an investment of $ 213 billion to produce, preserve and renovate affordable housing through tax credits, a funding formula, grants and project-based rent assistance. President Biden is advocating for $ 27 billion to support a new clean energy and sustainability accelerator to mobilize private investment in commercial and municipal buildings and clean transportation. In addition, the plan recommends $ 18 billion for the modernization of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics and $ 10 billion for the modernization and resilience of federal buildings, including through a revolving fund. for federal capital assets to support investments in the purchase, construction or renovation of federal buildings. facilities.

In addition, President Biden urges Congress to modernize K-12 and community college facilities, prioritizing safety, equity and energy efficiency.

The Made in America tax plan

To help support the U.S. Jobs Plan, President Biden has proposed corporate tax changes, including:

  • Increase the top federal corporate income tax rate to 28%, from the 21% currently provided for in the Jobs and Tax Cuts Act. The rate before the 2017 change was 35%.
  • Double the low-tax global intangible income (GILTI) rate from 10.5% to 21% and move on to calculating tax country by country.
  • Eliminate the exemption for investments in qualifying business assets (QBAI).
  • End the deduction for foreign intangible income (IEDI).
  • Tighten anti-inversion rules and limit deductions for relocations.
  • Apply a minimum tax rate of 15% on income reported in financial statements for corporations with net income of $ 100 million or more and that pay little or no federal income tax.
  • Limit preferences for fossil fuels and restore taxes dedicated to the petroleum and chemical industries to finance the Superfund Trust Fund.
  • Provide resources to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to better enforce tax laws and perform more effective audits on large businesses.

Congress must ultimately introduce legislation to achieve President Biden’s goals. The scope of such legislation is unclear, although Democratic leaders have united to push forward an infrastructure bill. It is also unclear whether there will be a separate transport bill and whether it will be transferred before or after a larger infrastructure bill.

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About Juana Renfrow

Juana Renfrow

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