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Higgins calls for quick congressional action on American Jobs Plan

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Thu, Apr 1st 2021 09:15 pm

Biden proposal includes Higgins’ Neighborhood Homes Investment Act

Says robust infrastructure investments will put people to work & build back US economy

Congressman Brian Higgins welcomed the Biden administration rollout of the American Jobs Plan.

He said, “This historic investment in U.S. infrastructure, neighborhoods and workers represents a commitment to building a better future for all Americans. The U.S. has fallen behind and it shows both in our ability to compete globally and in the many ways families in this country are struggling. This is an opportunity for tangible change that delivers good paying jobs and economic growth.”

Highlights of the American Jobs Plan significant to Western New York:

Investing in Transportation Infrastructure:

•Invests $621 billion in transportation infrastructure, including:

√ $115 billion to fix the bridges, highways and roads most in need of repair

√ $20 billion for a new program to reconnect neighborhoods cut off by bad transportation decisions in the past. Last month, Higgins wrote to the transportation secretary pointing to the Kensington, Skyway, Scajaquada and Niagara Scenic Parkway as opportunities to right transportation historic wrongs.

√ $17 billion for land ports of entry, such as the Peace Bridge, as well as inland waterways and ports

√ A doubling of federal funding - $85 billion – for public transit

√ $25 billion for airports

√ $80 billion for improvements to passenger rail

Rebuilding Neighborhoods:

•Includes the Neighborhood Housing Investment Act (NHIA), bipartisan legislation introduced by Higgins creating a tax credit designed to encourage home rehab investment in distressed neighborhoods. Biden’s plan notes, “offering $20 billion worth of NHIA tax credits over the next five years will result in approximately 500,000 homes built or rehabilitated, creating a pathway for more families to buy a home and start building wealth.”

•Invests $100 billion to make public schools safer, greener and better connected to technology

•Provides $18 billion to improve and modernize Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics

•Calls for a $12 billion investment in community college technology and infrastructure

•Includes $25 billion to improve child care facilities

Protecting Clean Water:

•Replacing 100% of the nation’s lead pipes, reducing lead exposure for children

•$56 billion in grants and loans to upgrade drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems

•Calls for the protection and restoration of water resources like the Great Lakes

Expanding Access to Broadband:

•Makes a $100 billion investment to bring affordable, high-speed broadband to every American

Preparing for Future Pandemics:

•Provides $30 billion over four years, in addition to the $10 billion included in the American Rescue Plan, to better protect the health and jobs of Americans against future pandemics. This includes manufacturing as well as research and development. In response to the pandemic, Higgins introduced legislation creating a national strategy for pandemic preparedness.

Restoring Jobs:

•Invests $100 billion in workforce development programs

•Proposes quadrupling support for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, which support the growth of manufacturing companies and jobs; WNY’s Insyte Consulting is a top national performer

•Invests $31 billion in programs that give small businesses access to credit, venture capital and research and development dollars

•Supports small business incubators and innovation hubs to support entrepreneurship opportunities in underserved communities

•Eliminates sub-minimum-wage provisions and expands access to integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities

•Calls on the Senate to adopt the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, legislation cosponsored by Higgins and already approved by the House.

Higgins has been a strong advocate for a larger federal investment in infrastructure, previously introducing the Nationbuilding Here at Home Act.

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