WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden tasked five cabinet members to help promote his administration’s $2.3 trillion “American Jobs” plan. He met with the five — Pete Buttigieg, Jennifer Granholm, Marcia Fudge, Marty Walsh, and Gina Raimondo — and about 20 others on Thursday in the White House.
Buttigieg is the U.S. secretary of transportation. Granholm is the U.S. secretary of energy. Fudge is the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Walsh is the secretary of labor. Raimondo is the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
During a news conference in Pittsburgh, Biden said on Wednesday that the “American Jobs” plan will invest in repairing 10,000 bridges, replacing lead pipes and service lines, improving 20,000 miles of highways and roads, public transit, airports, and ports.
The plan also includes $650 billion investment in home infrastructure, a $580 billion investment in manufacturing in the U.S., a $400 billion investment in community-based care for seniors, a $174 billion investment on the electronic vehicle market, a $100 billion investment on new public school buildings.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeted she hoped some of the funds could be used to help restore the Everglades. Rep. Frederica Wilson tweeted Biden’s plans equals jobs. Sen. Rick Scott warned on Thursday that the plan is disastrous because Biden is proposing “to dramatically raise taxes” during the pandemic. Sen. Mitch McConnell has also spoken against the funding model for the plan.
“We ought to build that which we can afford and not either wack the economy with major tax increases,” McConnell said.
Biden wants to raise the U.S. corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to help pay for the plan. Biden also assured Americans he will not be raising the taxes of anyone who earns less than $400,000 a year. Biden said he is open to ideas from Republicans.
“They have been some proposals out there about user fees or gas taxes essentially,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary. “We don’t agree with that. We don’t believe that the cost should be on the back of American people.”
The White House wants to see progress on the bill by Memorial Day, and have Congress pass it on to the president’s desk by this summer.
Biden highlighted the diversity of the 16 members of the Cabinet and said, “looks like America.” He said Buttigieg was the first openly gay Cabinet member; Gen. Lloyd Austin III was the first Black U.S. secretary of defense, and Janet Yellen is the first woman to serve as treasury secretary.
Congress has yet to confirm Eric Lander, Biden’s nomination to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
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