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

COP 26: Since Paris Agreement, ‘No Progress Has Been Made’

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) concluded November 12, with disappointing outcomes from many perspectives of the climate emergency. As the summit ran late on its final day, and as delegates shaped their statements for all 197 countries to...

Independent Media Stresses No-Win Situation with Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

The nation’s anxieties run high as a jury deliberates on the verdict in the double homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men and injured another in the aftermath of protests against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020. After the...

‘The Facebook Papers’ Confirm Commitment to ‘Profit Over Safety’

Whistleblower and former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen released thousands of pages of Facebook’s internal documents, known as “The Facebook Papers,” to various media outlets in October, revealing and confirming many troubling details about the company and...

The World Needs More Than Empty Promises from COP26

From a superficial perspective, the developments at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow would appear triumphant and encouraging. In a show of change after the Trump administration’s lack of interest in climate talks and positive climate policies, most of Biden’s...

November Elections: Youngkin’s Virginia Win, Democratic Losses

On Tuesday, November 2, voters across the U.S. cast ballots for off-year governor elections, mayoral candidates, and policing measures. Here are the most pressing developments in key states. Virginia In a startling defeat for Democrats, Virginian voters elected a new...

How the Taliban Beat a Military Superpower

On October 26, Cornell University hosted “Losing the Longest War: Afghanistan, 2001-21,” a public lecture that examined the history of the war in Afghanistan and the larger history of the kind of warfare the United States finds particularly challenging. The event...