American Jobs Plan will be historic investment in Texas infrastructure
AUSTIN, Texas — Last month, the Biden administration announced the American Jobs Plan, a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure to make America more competitive while creating millions of good-paying jobs.
With the success of the president’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Biden is leading the nation’s recovery effort and is reaching new milestones with getting Americans back to work.
Within his first 100 days in office, Biden has created more than 1 million new jobs — more than any president in history during the same timespan. The administration was also successful in providing relief to millions of small businesses struggling to keep their doors open by extending small businesses loans.
The president’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan will make a historic investment in key infrastructure across the country — including roads, bridges, and much more. The plan includes making massive investments in housing, increasing jobs and opportunities in renewable energy, improving Internet connectivity and expanding broadband access so that every American has access to high-speed Internet, increasing options for childcare services and supporting caregivers, and improving health care for veterans, to name a few.
The American Jobs Plan represents a huge investment in our country. As the second most populated state in the nation, Texas stands to benefit heavily from Biden’s plan, especially given the fact that the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Texas a C in their recently released Infrastructure Report Card (IRC).
Here are some ways the American Jobs Plan will help Texas:
According to the IRC, Texas has 818 bridges and over 19,400 miles of highway in poor condition, costing each driver $709 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 11.4 percent in the state on average. Biden’s American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nation’s transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.
Texans who take public transportation spend an extra 80.8 percent of their time commuting, and non-White households are 2.7 times more likely to commute via public transportation. Even worse, 12 percent of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past their useful life. Texas is heavily dependent on the federal government to develop and sustain public transportation in the state. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.
The climate crisis is causing more frequent and more intense weather events in Texas and across the country. From 2010 to 2020, Texas had 67 extreme weather events costing the state up to $200 billion in damages. That doesn’t even include February’s deadly week-long winter storm earlier this year that has been estimated to cost our state economy at least $130 billion. The President is calling for $50 billion in federal funds to help improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster. Furthermore, Biden’s plan will upgrade and weatherize our electrical grids, helping to prevent crises like the February power outages from happening again.
As part of his commitment to tackle the climate crisis, Biden’s American Jobs Plan will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy-efficient through a historic investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program, a new Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to finance building improvements, and expanded tax credits to support home energy upgrades. This will be especially helpful in Texas, where the average low-income family spends 8-10 percent of their income on home energy costs, forcing tough choices between paying energy bills and buying food, medicine or other essentials.
Furthermore, more than 1.7 million renters in Texas are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. This is partly due to the lack of affordable housing in the state. The President proposes investing over $200 billion to increase the housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.
Throughout the past year, Texans have had to rely on Internet services more than ever. Yet, more than 12 percent of Texans live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach for the estimated 13.7 percent of Texas households that do not have Internet. 43.3 percent of Texans live in areas where there is only a single Internet provider. The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed, and affordable Internet coverage to every family in America.
The American Jobs Plan is about building our communities up and building back better. See how the American Jobs Plan will further help Texas here.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“In fewer than a hundred days in office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have already gotten relief checks to millions of families, helped businesses stay afloat and turned the tide of the coronavirus pandemic. We finally have a president who is putting people first and is investing in our communities to guarantee we are not left behind — even post-COVID.
“The Biden-Harris administration and Democrats are fighting to get our economy back on track after years of mismanagement and negligence by the previous administration.
“This is real leadership. The American Jobs Plan will create good-paying union jobs, rebuild our roads, ports and bridges, and will also create a solid foundation for everyone in America to prosper.”