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Legislative Updates

White House Releases The American Jobs Plan

Today, the White House released The American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion, eight-year plan to invest in the nation’s infrastructure. The plan seeks to boost capacity in several sectors – including transportation, renewable energy, manufacturing, caregiving and local governments – while combating climate change and strengthening worker protections.

As it relates to the Postal Service, the plan restates the administration’s priority of embracing electric vehicles and calls for “using the vast tools of federal procurement to electrify the federal fleet, including the United States Postal Service.” The plan also includes a target of 500,000 new electric charging stations by 2030. The Postal Service recently announced a contract with OshKosh Defense that would partially satisfy this electrification goal.

With respect to investing in Postal Service facilities and equipment, the plan is silent; however, President Biden emphasized the need to invest in retrofitting federal buildings. NALC has advocated for federal investment in core Postal Service infrastructure including facilities, equipment and vehicles. That investment would enable the Postal Service to better serve the needs of the public while creating good union jobs for building trades and other industries.

The plan reinforces existing Buy America provisions and urges the use of unions while embracing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). This legislation recently passed the House of Representatives but has not yet been taken up in the Senate. Currently, 45 Democratic senators support the legislation; however, five Democratic senators – Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Warner (D-VA) – have not cosponsored the bill, complicating the ability of Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to bring it to the floor where 51 votes are needed. Vice President Kamala Harris would provide the 51st vote. 

Overall, President Biden’s plan calls for $620 billion to improve highways, bridges, airports and public transit systems. Additionally, the plan includes $300 billion for domestic manufacturing and $100 billion for workforce development programs, including training programs for those who have lost jobs. The plan also includes $100 billion for an improved electric grid, $45 billion for clean water across the country, and $100 billion to set up high-speed broadband internet nationwide. Other funding is included for new affordable housing, improved public school buildings and VA hospitals. 

President Biden proposes to pay for the American Jobs Plan with an increase in the corporate tax rate and an increase in the global minimum tax rate paid by U.S. corporations earned from overseas. Americans earning more than $400,000 would also pay higher taxes. In effect, the plan partially repeals the last administration’s massive tax cut for big business and the wealthiest taxpayers.

Following today’s announcement of the American Jobs Plan, it will be up to the House and Senate to craft legislation that reflects the administration’s priorities and pass it in the House and Senate, where partisan tensions are high, especially over additional government spending during a pandemic.

NALC’s priority remains working with Congress and the administration on efforts to bring financial stability to the Postal Service. As such, NALC encourages Congress to include funding to make much-needed investments in the Postal Service’s vast infrastructure network. NALC looks forward to working with Congress on these efforts.

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