It would also go a long way in the short term to boosting the economy. That’s what the Association of Equipment Manufacturers is telling lawmakers with a new analysis. Data firm IHS Markit took the topline numbers from just the bipartisan framework and determined that investment in hard infrastructure would create more than “100,000 above average paying jobs in equipment manufacturing and supporting industries” by the end of 2024. It would create 500,000 overall manufacturing jobs in the next three years. That’s based on the assumptions that the bill would invest $1.1 trillion over eight years starting in 2022, and that 75% of funding would be spent in the first five years.
That’s just one data point on the hard infrastructure side of things. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff analyzed the American Jobs Plan—this hard infrastructure proposal—combined with the American Families Plan—the great stuff for actual people that will be included in the Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill—and determined it could raise GDP by more than 5% in the next three years. Combined, they would create an “inclusive recovery,” IMF staff say.
“Investment in much-needed physical infrastructure should also benefit marginalized communities,” the analysts from IMF said. “The boost to productivity that these investments will produce can support more jobs with sustainably higher wages, in a more equitable economy.”
Then there’s the climate side of things, and this is where House Democrats come in—namely Rep. Peter DeFazio, who is chair of the Transportation Committee and increasingly frustrated and enraged that both the House and the climate have been pushed aside by the talks between Senate Republicans and the White House, and for good reason: DeFazio’s home state is on fire. He’s also already completed a hard infrastructure bill, which has largely been swept aside by Biden and the Senate. To add insult to that injury, his bill would likely be the shell for a Senate reconciliation bill.
In a conference meeting Tuesday, DeFazio reportedly called the deal “crap” and railed against the White House and Republican Sens. Rob Portman and Susan Collin as well as Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, calling them the three “Republicans” making this Senate deal. Sinema was not included by mistake. “I could give a damn about the White House. We’re an independent branch of government,” DeFazio told reporters after that meeting. “They cut this deal. I didn’t sign off on it.”
He’s fighting to get a conference committee between the House and Senate on this bill so that his climate provisions aren’t left out, and for now has found an ally in Rep. Steny Hoyer, House majority leader. On Tuesday, Hoyer called climate change an “existential threat” and joined DeFazio in slamming the Senate for leaving it out of the bipartisan bill.
“The Senate has limited itself essentially to infrastructure and ignored the consequences—the relationship—between climate and the transportation issues with which we’re dealing in infrastructure. So I would hope we would have a conference. I think we need to go to conference; we need to resolve the differences,” Hoyer told reporters Tuesday.
DeFazio and Hoyer aren’t the only one who are frustrated about the climate issue. From Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders:
Climate provisions are being included in the reconciliation bill, probably, and have been a bone of contention for that other not-so-much-a-Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin as well as Republicans. They’ve used the $3.5 trillion cost of that bill—a drop in the bucket of what’s going to be needed in the coming decades to save the world—as an excuse to fight the whole of Biden’s initiatives.
Which means that bipartisan deal, should it come together, still has to get 10 Republican votes. That is definitely not guaranteed. But Republicans will be tested potentially as soon as Wednesday or Thursday on that.