Biden-Harris Administration Crafting COVID-19 Relief, Infrastructure Planeditor@aashto.org January 22, 2021 0 COMMENTS
The newly installed Biden-Harris administration said it is working on a “two-step plan of rescue and recovery” plan to provide more COVID-19 relief funding – especially for transit agencies across the country – alongside a major infrastructure investment program.
[Above photo of President Joe Biden (left) and Vice President Kamala Harris via the White House.]
“The first step — the American Rescue Plan — will tackle the pandemic and get direct financial assistance and relief to Americans who need it the most,” noted President Joe Biden in a statement.
Then, “in my first appearance before a Joint Session of Congress, I will lay out the second step, my Build Back Better Recovery Plan. It will make historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy,” the president said – an approach he said would create more than 18 million jobs.
“It’s time to stop talking about infrastructure and finally start building it,” President Biden emphasized. “Millions of good-paying jobs that put Americans to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, and ports to make them more climate resilient, to make it faster, cheaper, and cleaner to transport American-made goods across our country and around the world.”
According to a 19-page synopsis of the proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, some $20 billion in relief is included for the “hardest hit” public transit agencies – aimed at preventing transit worker layoffs and reduction in routes essential workers rely on every day for transportation to and from their jobs.
Meanwhile, the administration said transit agencies could use those funds to make their systems “more resilient” while “ensuring that communities of color maintain the access to opportunity that public transportation provides.”