DENVER (KDVR) — Following $5 trillion in federal pandemic stimulus spending, President Joe Biden is proposing another $2.2 trillion for the American Jobs Plan.
Biden’s proposal is equal parts infrastructure bill, green energy overhaul, jobs program, racial reconciliation attempt, and social safety net expansion.
In a letter outlining the plan, the president insists the time is now to overhaul the American economy.
“While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were,” the White House’s fact sheet said. “This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy.”
Biden’s proposal is not a transportation bill. It is an infrastructure bill. Spending associated with transportation only makes up around one-quarter of Biden’s proposal.
The bill’s main spending categories are wider than transportation alone.
There are nine buckets where the spending goes – $621 billion for transportation-related spending, $400 billion for home care, $360 billion for government buildings, $300 billion for manufacturing development, $180 billion for research and development, $111 billion for water system development and $100 billion apiece for workforce, power grid and broadband development.
Transportation spending would focus mainly on electrification and mass public transit.
The bill does include $115 billion for roads and bridges, but over half the spending is earmarked for building 50,000 electric car charging ports nationwide, encouraging electric vehicle development and updates and subsidies for public transit systems.
This would include $80 billion for national Amtrak expansion which could potentially introduce a new Front Range Colorado commuter line.
Other spending categories break down along similar lines, emphasizing green energy or prioritizing minority labor and business development.
The single largest expense category outside transportation is home care. In Biden’s plan, home care would become more accessible under Medicaid, and home care providers would receive a pay increase. This plan would cost $400 billion.
Government buildings, the next-largest category, also prioritizes social assistance and green energy updates. Biden’s plan would spend $213 billion on building or refurbishing two million subsidized homes to update their energy uses. Similar measures would be taken in schools and Veterans Affair buildings, while $25 billion would go to build more child care centers.
Manufacturing, research and development and workforce development together would represent $580 billion. Each aims to boost American production of high-tech goods, with capital access programs and development priority for rural and minority communities.
Water, power and digital infrastructure would each aim to update or expand existing systems.
Biden’s plan calls for 100% national broadband coverage, complete with revamped internet prices. Workers would replace all lead pipes, upgrade rural wastewater systems, make green the existing power grids, install new power lines and plug or clean old oil and gas sites.