Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Infrastructure (Public Works)

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...
How Can New York City Prepare for the Next Ida? Here’s a To-Do List.

How Can New York City Prepare for the Next Ida? Here’s a To-Do List.

Technology, World
When the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept into New York this month, the storm’s ferocity shocked the city. Even with meteorologists warning of intense rains and flooding, the swiftness with which the storm turned streets into rushing — and deadly — rivers caught officials and residents off guard.New York has taken steps to prepare for the extreme weather driven by climate change. For years, particularly after Hurricane Sandy flooded much of the region, civic groups, environmental organizations and officials had raised alarms and urged action to protect from extreme storms.But much of the post-Sandy work focused on flooding caused by rising waters surrounding the city’s shores. The rains brought by Ida — and two other storms this summer that deluged parts of the area — pose a different kind ...
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,” ...
Biden’s Speech on Climate Change and Ida: Full Transcript

Biden’s Speech on Climate Change and Ida: Full Transcript

Technology, World
My “Build Back Better” plan with key investments to fight climate change, cutting emissions and make things more resilient. Each dollar we invest, every dollar — we raise a city block by two feet, flood-proof power stations, sanitations, reduction in the buildup of kindling in our forest, installing electrical lines underground rather than overhead — saves us six dollars for every single dollar we spend to do those things.Because the next time disaster strikes, the flood is contained, the fire doesn’t spread as widely, and power stays on. Not to mention those investments save lives, homes and create good-paying union jobs.I hosted 56 heads of state in Washington. And I pointed out, we’re talking about climate change, and I said I think of one word when I think of climate change: jobs. Good...
Biden’s Electric Car Plans Hinge on Having Enough Chargers

Biden’s Electric Car Plans Hinge on Having Enough Chargers

Technology, World
For years, start-ups, automakers and other companies have been slowly building chargers, mainly in California and other coastal states where most electric cars are sold. These businesses use different strategies to make money, and auto experts say it is not clear which will succeed. The company with the most stations, ChargePoint, sells chargers to individuals, workplaces, stores, condo and apartment buildings, and businesses with fleets of electric vehicles. It collects subscription fees for software that manages the chargers. Tesla offers charging mainly to get people to buy its cars. And others make money by selling electricity to drivers.The Transition to Electric CarsOnce the poor cousin to the hip business of making sleek electric cars, the charging industry has been swept up in its ...
The Trouble With Airports, and How to Fix Them

The Trouble With Airports, and How to Fix Them

Travel
During this summer of frequent flight delays and cancellations, many travelers spent more time in airports than expected, often subjected to blaring TV news, rock-hard seats and scarce electrical outlets. Add anxiety over Covid-19 and disagreements regarding mandated masking and it’s little wonder incidents of bad behavior have surged in the air. The Federal Aviation Administration reported more than 4,000 cases of unruly passenger complaints this year through August, initiating more than 700 investigations to date, compared to 183 in 2020.Deep into a six-hour travel delay recently, as I was pondering the role of airports in aggravating travelers, I found my way to Denver International Airport’s Concourse B-West and a set of new gates with floor-to-ceiling windows, modular furniture, high-...
After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action

After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — As the country reels from the cascade of deaths and devastation wrought by this summer’s record floods, heat waves, droughts and wildfires, President Biden and progressive Democrats are using the moment to push for aggressive climate provisions in a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget bill.Speaking on Thursday in Queens, where nearly a dozen people died a day earlier during flash floods, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said that when the Senate returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue work on budget legislation, it would include provisions designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions linked to extreme weather.Congress is also considering a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes money to help communities gird against climate disasters. The S...
The Week in Business: A Big Step for Infrastructure Spending

The Week in Business: A Big Step for Infrastructure Spending

Business
Credit...Giacomo BagnaraWhat’s Up? (Aug. 8-14)Infrastructure Bill Moves to the HouseThe Senate approved a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to rebuild roads and bridges and to fund broadband and climate resilience initiatives. The legislation includes several measures to help pay for it, including repurposing pandemic relief funds and tougher scrutiny of cryptocurrency transactions (though the Congressional Budget Office said the plan would still add $256 billion to the deficit over the next decade). Shortly after the passage of the infrastructure bill, the Senate voted along party lines to pass a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint to expand the social safety net, which would be funded primarily by higher taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Both measures face an arduous path in th...