Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: American Jobs Plan (2021)

House Passes the Largest Expenditure on Climate in U.S. History

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — The United States took a major step toward fighting climate change Friday with passage through the House of Representatives of a $2.2 trillion spending bill that includes the largest expenditures ever made by the federal government to slow global warming.The legislation provides $555 billion for programs that could significantly curb the fossil fuel emissions that have been heating the atmosphere, fueling deadly and record-breaking wildfires, floods, heat waves and drought. However, the bill faces an uncertain path through the Senate and negotiations between the two chambers may change its form.On its own, the legislation isn’t enough to fulfill President Biden’s pledge that the United States will cut its emissions by half from 2005 levels by the end of this decade. But it goe...
The White House Says Its Plans Will Slow Inflation. The Big Question Is: When?

The White House Says Its Plans Will Slow Inflation. The Big Question Is: When?

Business
Rocketing inflation has become a headache for U.S. consumers, and President Biden has a go-to prescription. He says a key way to help relieve increasing prices is to pass a $1.85 trillion collection of spending programs and tax cuts that is currently languishing in the Senate.A wide range of economists agree with the president — but only in part. They generally accept his argument that in the long run, the bill and his infrastructure plan could make businesses and their workers more productive, which would help to ease inflation as more goods and services are produced across the economy.But many researchers, including a forecasting firm that Mr. Biden often cites to support the economic benefits of his proposals, say the bill is structured in a way that could add to inflation next year, be...

Infrastructure Bill Makes First Major U.S. Investment in Climate Resilience

Technology
WASHINGTON — The $1 trillion infrastructure bill now headed to President Biden’s desk includes the largest amount of money ever spent by the United States to prepare the nation to withstand the devastating impacts of climate change.The $47 billion in the bill designated for climate resilience is intended to help communities prepare for the new age of extreme fires, floods, storms and droughts that scientists say are worsened by human-caused climate change.The money is the most explicit signal yet from the federal government that the economic damages of a warming planet have already arrived. Its approval by Congress with bipartisan support reflects an implicit acknowledgment of that fact by at least some Republicans, even though many of the party’s leaders still question or deny the establi...

House Passes $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, Putting Social Policy Bill on Hold

Technology, World
But if liberal Democrats from safe seats were dug in on their ambitious social welfare and climate change bill, those from swing districts were clearly spooked.Among the Democrats who demanded a better handle on the social welfare bill’s costs were members from tenuous districts, such as Mr. Golden, from northern Maine, Ms. Murphy, from Central Florida, and Ms. Spanberger, whose suburban district outside Richmond, Va., swung sharply right.But by midday, their efforts had stalled as a 15-minute House vote dragged on more than seven hours — a record, lawmakers said, for the longest vote in the chamber — as Ms. Pelosi toiled to line up support. Republicans, united in opposition to the social policy bill and gleeful over the chaos, forced additional procedural votes to further derail the proce...
Biden’s Plans Raise Questions About What U.S. Can Afford Not to Do

Biden’s Plans Raise Questions About What U.S. Can Afford Not to Do

Business
WASHINGTON — As lawmakers debate how much to spend on President Biden’s sprawling domestic agenda, they are really arguing about a seemingly simple issue: affordability.Can a country already running huge deficits afford the scope of spending that the president envisions? Or, conversely, can it afford to wait to address large social, environmental and economic problems that will accrue costs for years to come?It is a stealth battle over the fiscal future at a time when few lawmakers in either party have prioritized addressing debt and deficits. Each side believes its approach would put the nation’s finances on a more sustainable path by generating the strongest, most durable economic growth possible.The debate has shaped a discussion among lawmakers about what to prioritize as they scale ba...

As Democrats Trim Spending Bill, Some Americans Fear Being Left Behind

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress are curbing their ambitions for President Biden’s economic agenda, and Jennifer Mount, a home health care aide, worries that means she will not get the raise she needs to pay more than $3,000 in medical bills for blindness in one eye.Edison Suasnavas, who came to the United States from Ecuador as a child, has grown anxious about the administration’s efforts to establish a pathway to citizenship, which he hoped would allow him to keep doing molecular tests for cancer patients in Utah without fear of deportation.And Amy Stelly wonders — thanks to a winnowing of Mr. Biden’s plans to invest in neighborhoods harmed by previous infrastructure projects like highways that have harmed communities of color — whether she will continue to breathe fumes from a freeway...

Biden Pulls Back a Vote on the Infrastructure Bill

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — President Biden, facing an intraparty battle over his domestic agenda, put his own $1 trillion infrastructure bill on hold on Friday, telling Democrats that a vote on the popular measure must wait until Democrats pass his far more ambitious social policy and climate change package.In a closed-door meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill, Mr. Biden told Democrats for the first time that keeping his two top legislative priorities together had become “just reality.” And he conceded that reaching a deal between the divided factions on his domestic agenda could take weeks.“I’m telling you, we’re going to get this done,” Mr. Biden told reporters Friday afternoon, appearing hand-in-hand with Speaker Nancy Pelosi after he left the closed-door gathering with Democrats. He added: “It doe...

For Schumer and Pelosi, the Challenge of a Career With No Margin for Error

Technology, World
Ms. Pelosi has been in difficult situations before. She had to coax enough anti-abortion Democrats to back the House’s version of the Affordable Care Act without losing liberals, who were already smarting over the Senate’s exclusion of a new government-run plan, or “public option,” that would have competed with private insurance in the bill’s insurance marketplace.Then Senate Democratic leaders abruptly lost their filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority, after a Republican, Scott Brown, shocked Washington by winning the special election in Massachusetts to to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward M. Kennedy. Ms. Pelosi had to persuade House Democrats to swallow their pride, forget months of painstaking negotiations and simply pass the Senate’s version of the Affordable Care Ac...
Democrats Consider Adding Carbon Tax to Budget Bill

Democrats Consider Adding Carbon Tax to Budget Bill

Technology, World
As she has done for weeks, Ms. Sinema refused to comment on continuing negotiations. When one senator asked what revenue measures she would accept, he said he came away believing she could go along with a tax on carbon emissions and a tax on goods from countries that were not cutting their own greenhouse gases. The latter tax, which is backed by Mr. Wyden, would be designed to ensure that other countries with lax environmental rules would not be able to sell their goods at a lower price to American consumers and reap a competitive advantage. Under the rules of the World Trade Organization, it could be difficult for the United States to impose such an import tax — essentially, a tariff on goods from heavily polluting countries — unless its own industries are also subject to one.Mr. Wyden’s ...
Biden’s Infrastructure Plan: Scarcity of Skilled Workers Poses Challenge

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan: Scarcity of Skilled Workers Poses Challenge

Business
WASHINGTON — The infrastructure bill that President Biden hopes to get through Congress is supposed to create jobs and spur projects for companies like Anchor Construction, which specializes in repairing aging bridges and roadways in the nation’s capital.But with baby boomers aging out of the work force and not enough young people to replace them, John M. Irvine, a senior vice president at Anchor, worries there will not be enough workers to hire for all those new projects.“I’d be surprised if there’s any firm out there saying they’re ready for this,” said Mr. Irvine, whose company is hiring about a dozen skilled laborers, pipe layers and concrete finishers. If the bill passes Congress, he said, the company will most likely have to double the amount it is hiring.“We will have to staff up,” ...