President Biden’s wide-ranging $2.3 trillion American Jobs Act plan has drawn criticism, mainly from Republicans who say it is too expensive and insufficiently focused on infrastructure investment. However, lawmakers in recent years have introduced bipartisan bills addressing some of the same issues Biden is targeting. These bills might point to potential areas of compromise.
1. While President Biden’s plan would broadly allocate $52 billion to manufacturing, Congress has considered support for specific sectors.
The president’s plan would appropriate $52 billion to modernize manufacturing supply chains; invest in capital access programs; and create new finance programs to support debt and equity investments. An earlier bill that focuses on the energy sector, S. 622, would provide tax credits for energy manufacturers with projects in rural areas. Its sponsors are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Steve Daines (R-MT).
2. President Biden seeks $50 billion for semiconductor research and manufacturing; a bipartisan Senate bill has similar goals.
3. Both Biden and Congress have proposed new funding for high-risk rural roads.
The president’s package seeks $20 billion for this purpose. The corresponding bill from the current Congress, H.R. 2481, would create a grant program to repair dangerous rural roads. It was introduced by Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR). Their bill’s cost is unclear.
4. Both the president and some lawmakers want more money for child care.
President Biden’s infrastructure plan seeks $25 billion for a Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund that would incentivize building new childcare facilities. A bipartisan Senate bill, introduced in the previous Congress, took a different approach: It would update the childcare tax credit to reflect current costs for care. The bill, S. 749, was sponsored by Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
5. The president and bipartisan members of Congress have proposed new spending on water safety.
The president wants $10 billion to monitor PFAs (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water and to invest in rural water systems. A bill from the previous Congress, H.R. 7575, proposed $9.3 billion for water conservation and development. It was introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Sam Graves (R-MO), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Bruce Westerman (R-AR).
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