Topline: If elected president, Joe Biden wants to spend $1.3 trillion on an infrastructure package that includes a transportation overhaul and rebuilding the country’s roads, bridges and tunnels while moving to net-zero carbon emissions, and plans to finance it “by making sure the super-wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.”
- While the $1.3 trillion would be spent over 10 years, Biden said he’d use $50 billion his first year in office to rebuild roads and bridges, according to a campaign press release.
- $100 billion would be used to rebuild public schools, while $20 billion would go toward providing broadband internet access in rural areas, and $10 billion would help revitalize distressed cities.
- $5 billion will be invested by the Department of Energy in battery and energy storage technology to help Americans transition to only driving electric cars.
- An additional $2.5 billion of funding per year would go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support freight shipping, including waterways, railways and ports.
- $400 million will be earmarked for clean energy research to help reach Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- In order to finance this, Biden would reverse Republicans’ 2017 corporate tax cuts, end fossil fuel subsidies and tax evasion, as well as close tax loopholes.
What to watch for: The polls. While FiveThirtyEight shows Biden leading nationally by 12 points, Monmouth University’s latest poll had Buttigieg leading by 22%. Biden also came in fourth for third quarter fundraising, trailing behind Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Buttigieg.
Key background: America’s infrastructure is not in great shape. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, one out of every five miles of highway is in poor condition, and, in 2014, traffic delays cost citizens over $160 billion in time and fuel. And investing in infrastructure was one of President Trump’s campaign policies. But he infamously derailed his own Infrastructure Week and refused to work with Senate Democrats on a $2 trillion spending plan.
Tangent: Biden’s Thursday proposal announcement fell between Wednesday’s and Friday’s public impeachment hearings. The hearings focus on whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, specifically Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.