Passage of Infrastructure Act Spurs Calls for Build Back Better

by | Nov 17, 2021 | News

On November 15, Joe Biden signed into law the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), with bipartisan support for allocating funds to national projects. Included in the package is money for public transportation, electric vehicle charging stations, waterway cleanup, lead pipe removal from drinking water, improved internet access, a modernized electric grid, and more.

But further bipartisanship before the 2022 midterm elections will be challenging as the Biden administration returns to negotiating the Build Back Better Act, a $1.85 trillion social spending package. Progressives in and out of Congress have called for the swift passage of this act, which five centrist House Democrats have pledged to support after receiving the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) cost estimate for the package, expected November 19.

Common Dreams stipulates that “more progressive groups including the Sunrise Movement made clear that in their view, the bipartisan framework ‘is not a climate bill’ and will not convince voters to keep Democrats in power in the midterm elections coming up in less than a year.”

The act has seen steep cuts after objections from Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, but still aims to provide universal free pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, childcare subsidies, and tax incentives to enable families to purchase electric vehicles.

As Biden signed the infrastructure legislation, the national economic justice group Poor People’s Campaign rallied in Washington, D.C. to demand the passage of the Build Back Better Act, leading to several campaigners’ arrests during the direct action. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Campaign, condemned corporate Democrats for perpetuating false narratives over social investments and the needs of the working class.

“Unstable housing among families with children costs the United States $111 billion in affordable health and special education costs over the next 10 years,” Barber said at the rally. “That’s some cost for you.”

 

Image by AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar

More from The Edge

The Key to Maintaining Democracy? It’s Conversation.

On January 25th, the Harvard Kennedy School hosted a panel to discuss how candid conversations about  differences in opinion contribute to healthy democracy and social cohesion. The event, which was held on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts,...

Elitism and the Rest of Us as the New Semester Begins

This week, most college and university campuses will open across the country. The ghastly war in Gaza continues and the U.S. has become more involved as it bombs Yemen. So, I am thinking about how unsettled the surround is as higher education institutions begin a new...

War Rape and the Question of Hamas

Israeli Zionist women have been speaking out these last few days to bring attention to the horrific rape of Jewish women, and the lack of outcry of feminists, for them, to this plight. They demand an indictment of Hamas and its sexual treachery towards women on...

The 10 Freeway Has Been Reopened but L.A.’s Transit Problem Remains

During the early hours of November 11, a fire erupted in a storage yard underneath the I-10 freeway near downtown Los Angeles, structurally compromising a large section of the road and resulting in, what was at the time, claimed to be an indefinite closure of the...

From My Body to Yours, and Gaza to the World

A Meditation on Death, Killing, and Possibility I knew my body was healing from the surgery when I found myself ready to engage with the world and posted on Facebook: I am always anti-zionist. And never an antisemite. And always an anti-racist feminist against...

On the Tragic Inevitability of Stacking Corpses

War. Genocide. Pandemics. Heat. Famine. Racism. Misogyny. Hunger. Violence. There are so many ways for mortal beings to die, especially the most vulnerable, and too often these deaths are state sponsored, sped by capitalism, and/or preventable. We — humans and...

“Barbie”: An Anti-Racist Socialist Feminist Meditation

I started writing this the day “Barbie” was opening in the theatres. I had not seen it yet, because I am writing less about the film and more about the cultural and political moment we inhabit as it opens. I went as soon as I finished an early draft, exactly one week...