In This Week's Edition of Snapshot...
Council on Foundations CEO Kathleen Enright and Board Chair Tonya Allen, along with Ford Foundation Executive Vice President Hillary Pennington, published an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy titled, “Sharing Power and Curbing Racial Inequities: How Grant Makers Can Commit to Real Change a Year After COVID.” The article is a powerful call to foundations to continue the commitments in the COVID-19 pledge and further expand giving. Unless there is breaking news impacting the philanthropic sector, the Council will not be publishing Snapshot next week due to the congressional recess.
American Jobs Plan Summary
Earlier this week, the Biden Administration unveiled the Americans Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to modernize U.S. transportation and expand essential services. The plan addresses White House priorities, including economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. Below, Council on Foundations staff summarize key elements of the plan. For a full explanation, see the White House’s fact sheet, a summary of the package, and a breakdown of the spending in the proposal.
The Biden administration pledges to modernize and expand the U.S.’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, including increasing access to mass transit. According to the White House, the proposal will:
- Modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets.
- Fix 10,000 of the worst small bridges and the 10 most economically significant bridges that need reconstruction.
- Replace thousands of buses and rail cars, repair hundreds of stations, renew airports, and expand transit and rail into new communities.
- Create electric vehicle incentives.
The proposal includes strengthening and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, and an expansion of essential services to underserved communities. These investments include:
- $621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience.
- $111 billion to replace all lead pipes and service lines in drinking water systems and modernize clean water infrastructure.
- $100 billion to expand broadband access, especially to rural Americans.
- $100 billion to modernize America’s power infrastructure.
- $213 billion to build and retrofit affordable housing and commercial properties.
- $100 billion to build new and modernize existing public schools.
- $12 billion to address the physical and technological needs of community colleges.
- $25 billion to upgrade childcare facilities and increase access to childcare in high-need areas.
- $18 billion to modernize Veterans’ Affairs health care facilities and other federal buildings.
- $400 billion to expand access to home and community-based services and other programs for seniors and persons with disabilities.
- $300 billion to revitalize the American manufacturing and small business sectors and bolster them against future pandemics.
- $100 billion in workforce development targeted at underserved communities.
- $180 billion in research and development.
The White House wove climate change, economic recovery, and racial equity into the plan, including the following:
The White House estimates this plan will employ hundreds of thousands of people. These new jobs will have strong labor standards, prevailing wages, and collective bargaining and union rights.
The Biden administration committed to including local small businesses in their design, construction, and manufacturing of any new infrastructure.
The administration says that because new investments will primarily be located in underserved communities, they provide the opportunity to address racial and economic inequities both by expanding services to communities that need them and by hiring from within those communities to build the infrastructure.
The proposal says that all new building will incorporate climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, and weatherization.
Transportation investments will focus on incentivizing and simplifying ownership of electric vehicles.
New manufacturing initiatives will prioritize clean energy.
Made in America Tax Plan
The White House also outlined the “Made in America Tax Plan,” which would pay for the infrastructure package. Among other provisions, it would raise taxes on corporations from 21 percent to 28 percent and adds penalties for corporations that move their operations offshore. The Biden administration also pledged to lead the OECD in talks to enact a global minimum tax rate, putting a stop to the race-to-the-bottom policies that allow corporations to take advantage of tax havens abroad.
This week, administration officials and Democratic leaders have been discussing a legislative strategy. Speaker Pelosi has indicated that she wants a vote in the House on a package by July 4, but it is unclear that this will be possible given its size and complexity. Congressional Republicans have already indicated they will oppose the legislation, forcing Democrats to pass it on a party line vote likely using budget reconciliation.
The White House has also indicated the Biden administration will release another major proposal in the coming weeks. While the American Jobs Plan focuses on economic revitalization, the White House has said the second package will invest in “human infrastructure” and could include aid for families, universal prekindergarten, free community college, among others.