by: AIA New York
Only a few weeks after entering office, President Biden announced his American Jobs Plan, which proposed $2 trillion of investment in the economy. A significant portion of the plan’s funding is intended to support architectural priorities, particularly transportation and infrastructure, affordable housing, and sustainable design. In the months since the Jobs Plan was announced, advocates including AIANY have been working with members of Congress and the Biden administration to shape its final form.
Though progress on pushing the Jobs Plan through Congress has been slow, the last few weeks have seen a breakthrough. A bipartisan group of senators has come to an agreement to fund “hard infrastructure,” the transportation and physical infrastructure portion of the Jobs Plan. While this agreement would not reach the funding levels proposed by the original Jobs Plan, it would still represent an enormous investment in physical infrastructure. The agreement has now been introduced as a bill in the Senate, putting it on the path to becoming enshrined in law.
Democrats are seeking to fund the remainder of the Jobs Plan through budget reconciliation, a process where they could avoid a Republican filibuster in the Senate. This would allow Democrats to fund physical infrastructure left out of the bipartisan agreement, such as investments in electric vehicles and highway redesign. This move would also fund the social infrastructure and buildings portions of the Jobs Plan, which were entirely left out of the bipartisan agreement. However, the budget reconciliation process requires every Democrat in the Senate to vote as a bloc, which may not come to fruition.
While our members wait to see the results of the debates in Washington, AIANY will continue to keep you updated on the status of the Jobs Plan. Our advocacy has thus far proven successful, as the bipartisan agreement largely funds AIANY’s priorities of railroads, roads and bridges, and mass transit. Nevertheless, we will continue to advocate that these and other areas be fully funded as proposed in the Jobs Plan.