In the same month as the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus bill, President Biden’s White House is preparing a new funding package to promote recovery. And this one is even larger.
According to administration sources, the new infrastructure bill preparing to hit the President’s desk is worth between $3 and 4 trillion.
“The country has not had a real infrastructure bill since Dwight Eisenhower set up the highway system,” said Ed Rendell, former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, on the package. “This could do more for American manufacturing and blue-collar jobs than anything else.”
And while that is, undoubtedly, part of the purpose of the bill, it doesn’t seem to be the main thrust. Most of the bill, it appears, will address education and child care, two major investments in the future, and the legacy, of working America.
Universal prekindergarten is rumored to be included. Not only would that massively lighten childcare expenses on working parents, it’s highly correlated with upward economic mobility that lasts for generations. A generational study in New York reported that children who attended pre-K schools were over twice as likely to go to college. Not only that, but the children of those children were more likely to continue their education as well.
The infrastructure bill also is expected to include a dedicated $100 billion for schools, earmarked for repairs and new construction specifically. In many schools, poor maintenance and outdated ventilation systems have delayed reopening as the pandemic wanes.
Another inclusion is free community college for all, which would make higher education available to the entire country. States which already provide this have seen improved employment rates, and fewer shortages of skilled workers.
Both of these were soft promises from President Biden during his campaign. He called the necessary parts of a “caregiving economy,” which he believes we should all strive for.
Photo: President Biden signs a bill while Vice President Kamala Harris looks on in the background. Credit: archna nautiyal / Shutterstock.com