New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow progressives are urging President Joe Biden to go bigger on infrastructure as the total cost of his proposed package nears $4 trillion.
Biden introduced the first part of his proposal on Wednesday, calling for $2.2 trillion to fund highways, bridges, transit, rail, electric vehicles and charging stations, airports and ports, clean drinking water, universal broadband, and other measures.
The spending is expected to be partially covered by a corporate tax increase, a hike on overseas income, ending fossil fuel subsidies, boosting IRS enforcement, and other measures.
Biden is expected to unveil a second part largely focusing on family assistance that will likely be merged into a larger bill that will be voted on in September.
AOC calls for more:
“This is not nearly enough,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “The important context here is that it’s $2.25T spread out over 10 years. For context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year *alone,* with some provisions lasting 2 years. Needs to be way bigger.”
Progressive groups have also called for Biden to spend more, particularly on green energy.
“It is clear that if Biden is serious about transforming our economy and building back better, a much greater scale of investment is needed,” the Sunrise Movement said earlier this week.
Progressives push $10T proposal:
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell introduced a $10 trillion bill backed by most of the Congressional Progressive Caucus as a counterproposal to Biden’s offer, HuffPost reports.
“We are facing a series of intersecting crises: climate change, a public health pandemic, racial injustice and economic inequality,” said Markey. “We can’t defeat any of these crises alone. We must develop a roadmap for recovery that addresses them all.”
The THRIVE Act directs at least $1 trillion per year over the next 10 years to weaning the country off fossil fuels, fixing water systems, boosting benefits for home care workers, and numerous other measures.
The bill aims to create 15.5 million jobs per year and push 50% of the bill’s funding to areas that have been most impacted by fossil fuel pollution.
“The people that were the glue that held this society together, that held American together for the last year, were the people one year ago we didn’t think were worth paying $15 an hour,” Dingell said. “Coming out of COVID, people are seeing how much people are hurting, where the fractures are, and this is an opportunity we need to take advantage of.”