Biden Trims Infrastructure Package — What Does That Mean for Jobs and Small Businesses?

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Erin Scott/UPI/Shutterstock / Erin Scott/UPI/Shutterstock

President Joe Biden’s offer to reduce the size and scope of his infrastructure plan to gain more bipartisan support likely means the White House will also have to lower its expectations for new jobs and small business growth tied to the plan.

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As ABC News reported on Saturday, the White House trimmed Biden’s proposal to $1.7 trillion from the original $2.3 trillion. But that still might not be enough to appease congressional Republicans, who propose a much smaller $568 billion alternative.

The original plan — dubbed the American Jobs Plan — included at least $100 billion in government spending for each of the following areas: transportation ($621 billion), home care services and workforce ($400 billion), manufacturing ($300 billion), housing ($213 billion), research and development ($180 billion), water ($111 billion), schools ($100 billion), digital infrastructure ($100 billion) and workforce development ($100 billion), according to CNN.

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But under the new plan, spending in many of those areas will be trimmed, CNN reported. Among the concessions Biden is willing to offer in the reduced plan:

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  • Eliminate manufacturing, R&D and innovation from the plan and pursue them in separate legislation
  • Agree to GOP-proposed reduction in broadband funding from $100 billion to $65 billion
  • Cut the $159 billion request for new funding for roads, bridges and major infrastructure projects to $120 billion

White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged on Friday that the White House’s new proposal involves “shifting investments in research and development, supply chains, manufacturing and small business” out of the infrastructure talks, ABC News noted.

In addition to reducing investments in small businesses, any cuts to the original plan will also reduce the number of potential new jobs, officials say.

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In a statement on Friday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said that a smaller infrastructure package “means fewer jobs, less justice, less climate action, and less investment in America’s future.”

He didn’t specify which jobs, or how many, might be impacted.

Biden originally said the American Jobs Plan would lead to the creation of 19 million jobs, Business Insider reported last month. But Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg later clarified that the plan would actually create 2.7 million jobs.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte MagazineStreet & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, will be published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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