Business Groups and Unions United on Infrastructure Plan

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) –  There is a new momentum for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that is expected to be taken up this month by the Senate. This is happening because of major business and union groups have formed a new coalition.

The coalition was announced on Thursday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. In addition, trade groups representing manufacturers and retailers played a part in the announcement. The formation of the group came as “a bipartisan group of senators tried to craft a bill from a blueprint that aimed to dramatically boost public works spending over the next five years.”

The officials for the new group of the Coalition for Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment said, “Don’t let partisan differences get in the way of action – pass significant, meaningful infrastructure legislation now.”

In Washington, D.C., there have often been different ideas on policy issues between the business and union groups. However, that has not been the case with this infrastructure legislation. Everyone has been in favor of the prospect of “new jobs that would be created shoring up the country’s roads, bridges, rail lines, and airports.” It has been hoped that the legislation will be something that lawmakers from bipartisan parties can support.

Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary, said, “I appreciate the supportive words. Those are music to my ears.” Buttigieg spoke about the coalition’s announcement during a special event held by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

 The Bipartisan Policy Center is a “think tank,” working to attain the best ideas from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Buttigieg described the plans agreed to by the senators as “an incredibly ambitious deal that reflects a shared ambition to do big things. I think the biggest threat to this is politics. I can’t think of better politics than actually delivering something that the American people want. I mean, the popularity that this has is off the charts.”

There are critics for this plan on both sides of the political aisle. A group of conservatives, including the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, said, “The compromise bill would spend $1.2 trillion on left-leaning priorities and would fail to properly pay for it.”

At the same time, there are Democratic lawmakers who are working to make sure that Congress does not approve the $1.2 trillion package. These lawmakers believe that there should be a second bill that provides additional money for housing and health care. This is unlikely to win the GOP votes.


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