Today, President Biden signed H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, into law. This bi-partisan, $1.2 Trillion package will make long-overdue investments in our nation’s infrastructure, providing the funding to finally repair our decaying roads, bridges, and public transportation systems. Remarkably, the law represents the most significant investment in bridges since the creation of the interstate highway system. The bill also provides funding to expand broadband access, strengthen our water and energy systems, and ease the supply shortages by ending port and airline maintenance backlogs. While the infrastructure bill is indeed a step forward, more is needed in the face of the ever-escalating climate crisis, staggering wealth inequality, and an ongoing pandemic.
President Biden, alongside many Members of Congress, insisted on passing a human infrastructure bill, known as the Build Back Better Act (BBB) (H.R. 5376), in tandem with the passage of H.R. 3684. Instead, Congress voted only on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, putting the BBB package in danger of being watered down and jeopardizing the much-needed pro-worker provisions contained within the package. Congress is expected to take up the Build Back Better Act before the year ends. If passed as currently written, BBB would:
- Make childcare affordable by capping childcare costs to 7% of a family’s income;
- Provide universal preschool for three and 4-year-olds;
- Extend the child tax credit, a Biden era program that has lifted over 3 million children out of poverty and cut poverty in America by 25%;
- Provide hearing benefits to Medicare recipients;
- Potentially provide paid family leave to every American;
- Incorporate many provisions of the PRO act so that corporations that engage in illegal union-busting are held accountable.
- Allocate $6 billion for the electrification of the new postal delivery vehicles.
The text of the Build Back Better Act is still being finalized. APWU firmly supports the pro-worker provisions currently contained in the bill, and stands with members of Congress fighting to ensure that this critical legislation retains its pro-worker provisions, passes both chambers of Congress, and is signed into law. We urge APWU members to contact their Congressional representatives to support the immediate passage of the Build Back Better Act.