Will the Biden Administration Pursue an Infrastructure Bill?

Nov 09 2020 |
Getty Images

Joe campaigned on it, after all — and we’re not the only ones calling for it.

Joe Biden was declared the winner in Pennsylvania over the weekend, which put him over the top in the race to 270 electoral college votes. So it looks like Biden is gonna be the next American president! Some of President Trump’s political supporters are having a hard time with it, but everybody chill. Please everybody just chill for a minute. Nothing much will change. Jane Lynch will continue to book lots of projects.

But many are in fact not chilling. As is typical in the immediate aftermath of a presidential election victory when there’s no more voting for a while, everyone is scrambling to claim credit and push their preferred political outcomes. Enter the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), bursting through the wall like Kool-Aid Man, to remind everyone what we’re looking for and for what Joe Biden ran on: A comprehensive infrastructure bill with Buy America rules attached to it.

Now, you may be thinking: There’s so much else to do. Coronavirus is now absolutely raging across the country, millions of people are out of work and many of their old jobs are quite simply gone, and the last economic relief package (and the unemployment insurance benefits in it) dried up months ago. Shouldn’t relieving the pressure the pandemic is putting on the economy be the priority of an incoming Biden administration?

To answer my own question: Yes, it should be the priority. But that doesn’t preclude passing a federal infrastructure bill, which could be the vehicle for the stimulus spending the Biden administration is expected to pursue. As we argued in July, back before it became quite clear that the Trump administration and Congress weren’t going to cut a deal to help newly broke Americans, an industrial policy – including enhanced trade enforcement, workshare policies, consumer subsidies to purchase American-made automobiles, but most importantly infrastructure investment – should be included in the next Covid-19 economic relief bill. Spending on infrastructure, according to the Economic Policy Institute, would create millions of American jobs.

It increasingly looks like that next relief bill won’t come about until after January 20, when Biden is inaugurated. Once he’s in office, the United Steelworkers want infrastructure addressed. The Chamber of Commerce wants infrastructure addressed. AAM wants infrastructure addressed. Read our letter here.