It’s the day after President Biden’s release of the American Jobs Plan and support from the environmental community including LCV state affiliates, environmental justice leaders, and labor unions is pouring in. As LCV President Gene Karpinski said yesterday, “Elections have consequences and the importance of this administration calling for historic investments to tackle historic crises cannot be overstated.” Yet, as expected, Republicans in Congress are more concerned with blocking President Biden’s agenda than responding to their constituents’ demands for investments in economic recovery even after a year of so much loss.
In his speech, President Biden said it best: this is a “once in a generation investment in America” and it’s an investment we can’t afford not to make. A majority of Americans understand this. In fact, recent polling shows that a majority of Republican voters support investments in infrastructure and clean energy — so why don’t their polluter-funded representatives in Washington?
Sens. John Barrasso (7% lifetime LCV score; taken $1,169,053 from oil and gas industry) and Mitch McConnell (8% lifetime LCV score; taken $2,759,653 from oil and gas industry) are both sticking to the same Fox News talking points calling this plan a “Trojan Horse for increased tax hikes.” And today, McConnell said, “you’re either alarmed about the level of national debt and the future impact of that on our children and our grandchildren or you aren’t.”
- The truth is: Top economists agree that clean energy is a smart investment in our long-term growth that will make U.S. companies more productive and competitive and add trillions of dollars to our economy. We are already paying a high price for pollution and climate change, and, if we fail to take bold and just action on the climate crisis right now, the price for our children and grandchildren will only get higher and higher. And new polling shows that 67% of voters say the federal government should be doing more to modernize American infrastructure and 73% say Congress needs to make these investments.
- The truth is: Biden’s plans for economic recovery has bipartisan support from Republican voters and another poll shows that this is exactly how voters think we should address infrastructure, with nearly 7 in 10 voters nationally and in battleground states agreeing that Congress should pass Biden’s plan to Build Back better.
Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04; 3% lifetime LCV score; taken $477,679 from oil and gas industry) said Biden’s bill will “further hurt our ability to be energy-independent” and is “a spending bill we cannot afford.”
- The truth is: Clean energy is the fastest-growing industry in America and provides a huge opportunity for high-quality, union jobs that help rebuild the middle class. Economic analysts have predicted that President Biden’s plan will create nearly 19 million new jobs, including many millions within the clean energy sector.
Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08; 16% lifetime LCV score; taken $107,011 from oil and gas industry) said President Biden’s plan “has much more to do with the Green New Deal than improving our nation’s roads, bridges and highways” — and many others, including Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01; 4% lifetime LCV score; taken $1,812,416 from oil and gas industry), have tried to inaccurately portray this plan, the Green New Deal, and the need for climate action.
- The truth is: Infrastructure and the climate crisis are inextricably linked — as Transportation Secretary Buttigieg has said, “every road we fix, every bridge we build, we can either do it in a way that’s better for the climate or worse for the climate. Why wouldn’t we want to be creating these jobs in a way that’s better for the climate?” The American Jobs Plan is about rebuilding the American economy and creating millions of high-paying, union jobs and the majority of voters on both sides of the aisle support historic investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy as part of President Biden’s economic recovery plan.
There is a lot of talk from Congressional Republicans, but the facts are indisputable — the American Jobs Plan meets the needs of this moment and is not just good policy, but good politics. And as President Biden acknowledged in his speech yesterday — this is only the beginning. LCV is looking forward to working with the administration and Congress to make sure the American Jobs Plan meets the scale of the crises we face with the big investments needed to build back better with clean energy, justice, and jobs at the center.