US President Joe Biden speaks to the media as he boards Air Force One for Washington, DC on March 28 2021. Picture: REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS
US President Joe Biden speaks to the media as he boards Air Force One for Washington, DC on March 28 2021. Picture: REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS

Washington — The infrastructure plan US President Joe Biden will roll out in Pittsburgh on Wednesday includes $2.3-trillion in investments aimed at everything from fixing 10,000 bridges to tearing lead pipes out of millions of homes in the US.

Here are the highlights.

$650bn for roads, rail and transport

The plan would modernise more than 30,000km of highways and roads, the top 10 “economically significant bridges”, and 10,000 other bridges.

It includes $20bn for road safety programmes to reduce fatalities for cyclists and pedestrians, and $20bn to reconnect neighbourhoods divided by highway projects.

It would double federal funding for public transit with an $85bn investment and invest $80bn in Amtrak.

The plan includes $25bn for airports, $17bn for inland waterways, coastal ports and ferries, and investments in cleaning port air pollution.

There’s another $25bn for “ambitious” transportation projects “too large for current funding programmes”.

And, in a boost to electric vehicle (EV) makers, a $174bn investment to “win the EV market” by spurring domestic supply chains and giving consumers rebates to buy them.

$650bn for ‘home infrastructure’

These funds would go to broadband, clean water, the electric grid, and high-quality housing.

Among other things, it would replace 100% of the water-bearing lead pipes and service lines across the country, which the White House says serve as many as 10-million families.

It also proposes broadband access for some 35% of rural Americans who don’t have the service, building or retrofitting 2-million housing units, and veterans hospitals.

There’s $100bn to “upgrade and build new public schools, through $50bn in direct grants and an additional $50bn leveraged through bonds”.

The proposal includes capping and sealing oil and gas wells and abandoned mines, which the White House says will create “hundreds of thousands” of jobs in areas where oil and mining employment has dried up.

$400bn for the ‘care economy’

One in six essential care workers live in poverty, the White House said.

The plan will fund home or community-based care for hundreds of thousands of senior citizens and people with disabilities, creating “well-paying, care-giving jobs with benefits”.

$580bn for manufacturing, training and research

The figure includes a $50bn investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, $180bn in research and development with a focus on clean energy, and unspecified amounts as incentives for companies to create new jobs in coal communities and grow the US supply chain.

Raising corporate taxes to foot the bill

The plan would make multiple changes to US tax rules, to put the cost of the plan entirely on companies.

These include raising the US corporate tax rate to 28% from the 21% levy set by the Trump administration’s 2017 tax bill, eliminating all fossil-fuel industry subsidies and loopholes, and establishing a minimum tax on income companies use to report profits to investors.

The reforms will add 0.5% to US GDP per year in corporate revenue, which the White House says will fully pay for investments within the next 15 years, and reduce the government deficit after that. 

Reuters

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