Category Archives: Economic Development

NYS Makes Significant Investment in Feinstein Institutes to Make Long Island a Life Sciences Global Leader 

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul at Northwell Health on Long Island announces new funding for the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research’s Center for Bioelectronic Medicine and funding to expand life sciences on Long Island, including a $50 million competition to incentivize commercialization of new discoveries © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the $350 million Long Island Investment Fund awarded its first grant to the The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research to construct 40,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art labs to support medical and infectious disease research. The $10 million Long Island Investment Fund grant complements an additional $30 million in State support previously awarded to the Feinstein Institutes to modernize 20,000 square feet of its Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine, which Governor Hochul opened today. New York State’s assistance is part of an $85 million modernization effort at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, Nassau County, and a broader initiative to highlight the growing life science industry on Long Island. The Feinstein Institutes is the research arm of Northwell Health and is one of the leading laboratory and research centers in the country, conducting cutting-edge studies that seek to cure diseases.

“New York is leading the way in medical innovation, and the Long Island Investment Fund will support life-saving research on the cutting edge of the life sciences industry,” Governor Hochul said.”Our investment in the Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine is already improving the lives of everyday New Yorkers, and the additional Long Island Investment Fund award announced today reaffirms our commitment to remaining a national leader in the health and medical research fields. I am proud to support the Feinstein Institutes and their research, which will lead to life-changing medicine and treatments that will improve the lives of New Yorkers on Long Island and across the State.”

The field of bioelectronic medicine was born here, she said, thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, President and CEO of Feinstein Institutes, and the funding will enable this work to be greatly expanded, attracting top scientists from around the world.

Included as part of Governor Hochul’s FY 2023 Enacted Budget, the Long Island Investment Fund focuses on projects that will support and grow the regional economy, enhance communities, and have lasting economic impacts across Long Island. The Fund’s $10 million award to the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research will support the renovation and construction of 26 new state-of-the-art research labs on two floors as well as the hiring of 10 new principal investigators and 60 research employees. These modernized labs will advance research efforts to develop novel therapies for cancer, diabetes, obesity, lupus, and other conditions.

Long Island has become a life sciences hub, with a defined corridor that links Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Labs (energy), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (genomics) and Northwell’s Feinstein Institutes.

The state is also launching a $50 million life science business competition on Long Island, in order to bridge the divide between research and commercialization, and bring the innovations to market with start-ups, many of which may well come out of the four research institutions.

In all, New York is investing $620 million in life sciences sector, statewide.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul with Empire State Development’s President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight and Chairman Kevin Law, announce the $350 million Long Island Investment Fund, which will focus largely on developing life sciences research and businesses © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“The Long Island Investment Fund represents a strategic investment to further enhance the region as a powerhouse for the life sciences industry, which is an important driver of New York State’s economy,” Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said. “The Feinstein Institutes play a critical role in life-changing medical discoveries and therapeutics that can improve our everyday lives. ESD is proud to support the growth of visionary life sciences companies like the Feinstein Institutes, whose work is crucial to building a healthier and stronger Empire State.”

The Feinstein Institutes is the global scientific home of bioelectronic medicine, a growing scientific field that uses technology to read and modulate electrical activity within the body’s nervous system. The new, modernized labs at the Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine will support discoveries to find cures that will reduce the need for drugs, reduce painful side effects, and give life back to people who are suffering. Early discoveries have emerged from its labs, opening new treatment options for patients with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, paralysis, and even cancer. Clinical studies in bioelectronic medicine have already yielded results with those who are paralyzed: recent research utilizing an over-the-skin spinal cord stimulation patch has allowed participants to regain their ability to move and feel. 

Governor Hochul acknowledged that the new technology could also help in the state’s effort to diagnose and treat Long COVID which is afflicting so many New Yorkers.

The Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine’s renovation includes wet-lab bench space, multiple tissue culture rooms, cold storage rooms, workstations for researchers, and a brand-new Biosafety Level 3 facility to allow new research into infectious diseases and other complex viruses, such as COVID-19. The expansion also supports the hiring of 13 new principal investigators and 100 new research employees.

Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, President and CEO of Feinstein Institutes, in one of the new labs devoted to making breakthroughs in bioelectronic medicine. The facilities are expected to attract world-class researchers © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Feinstein Institutes President and CEO Dr. Kevin Tracey said, “At the Feinstein Institutes, scientific progress is made every day. With the proper facilities and tools, we can help advance that progress even further. We are thankful to the Governor and Empire State Development for their funding of our new space, and we look forward to continuing our breakthrough medical research that will benefit our Long Island communities and beyond.”

Northwell Health’s President and CEO, Michael Dowling said,”This new facility and its resources, made possible by Governor Hochul and the Empire State Development, will allow our researchers at The Feinstein Institutes – Northwell’s home of research and the global scientific home of bioelectronic medicine – to pursue their mission of discovering new treatments to cure disease and improve the health of the communities we serve.”

Long Island is at the forefront of the life sciences industry as new research and discoveries in bioelectronic medicine – a new scientific field born and bred on Long Island – will attract the best and brightest researchers and world-leading strategic partners to create the cures that can transform lives. The life sciences industry has become a powerful engine of economic growth and innovation for New York, turning key regions of the State into dynamic life science hubs. Investing in life sciences is crucial to identify the next scientific or medical breakthrough that will develop new life-saving technologies. Through its support of the Feinstein Institutes’ growth, New York is expanding its ability to commercialize research and spur the growth of a world-class life science industry on Long Island and across the State.

“Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York is making smart investments to catalyze economic growth on Long Island. The Long Island Investment Fund will help the region thrive and strengthen New York’s leadership in the global innovation economy,” Empire State Development Board Chairman Kevin Law said. “The Fund’s $10 million award to the Feinstein Institutes reaffirms our commitment to the growing life sciences ecosystem that will support the advancement of game-changing medical discoveries.”

“Thanks to smart investments by the State of New York in partnership with the private sector, Long Island’s life sciences industry is growing and thriving, bringing great jobs to our community, and driving innovation that will make our world a better place,” State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said. “I fought for the Long Island Investment Fund to be included in this year’s state budget because we need to continue making smart investments in our community that build on our many strengths and make our region more attractive for private investors and job creators to set up shop and expand their operations locally. I’m thrilled that, thanks to this fund, the world-class Feinstein Institute for Medical Research right here in Manhasset will be able to modernize their Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine that’s doing incredible work to cure diseases and change the world.”

Dr. Kevin J. Tracey President and CEO of Feinstein Institutes discusses the breakthrough science of bioelectronic medicine © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During a walk-through of the new and renovated labs, Dr. Tracey explained how bioelectric medicine involves building devices to control nerves, to treat disease. “Pick a disease, pick target, figure out the  neural signals to control target.” The technology can be used to activate immune system to intercept a disease. “Send the right neural signal to the right nerve to trigger immune system.” It can be used to create new neural pathways to restore function to stroke victims, and has application to rehabilitation, such as the loss of hand function after a car accident.

But, he adds, you can’t treat a disease until you understand its mechanism, which is why mental illness is not on the list at this time.

“Things are happening fast,” he said, The FDA granted the technology “breakthrough” designation, which means the innovations can be fast tracked.

Devices invented at the Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine at Feinstein are used to track neural impulses sent to specific disease targets © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In the bioengineering lab, he points to the “wireless mouse” – not the computer device, but devices that can be inserted into a mouse to receive signals to stimulate specific nerves, and send the nerve recording back. A mouse is important for research because scientists can create disease in the mouse genetically, locate it, and generate the evidence that can be used to treat humans.

Investing in the Future of Long Island

The $10 million Long Island Investment Fund grant announced today complements historic initiatives and investments for Long Island:

  • $157 million investment — repaving 300 lane miles of state highways to date.
  • More than $457 million for school aid – a 12.7 percent increase compared to FY 2022.
  • $63 million for addiction treatment, recovery and prevention services.
  • The homeowner Tax Rebate Credit, with an average benefit of $1,300 for 494,000 Long Island homeowners.
  • $500 million to develop New York’s offshore wind infrastructure and supply chain – ultimately creating more than 2,000 green jobs.
  • Completing Long Island Rail Road’s historic Third Track project, allowing trains to run more often and creating a smoother ride for LIRR commuters.

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© 2022 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email editor@news-photos-features.com. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures. ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

STATE FACT SHEETS:
How the Inflation Reduction Act Lowers Energy Costs, Creates Jobs, and Tackles Climate Change Across America

The White House released state fact sheets highlighting how the Inflation Reduction Act tackles the climate crisis in states across the country and how families and communities can benefit from a clean energy future, like providing tax credits covering 30% of the costs to install solar panels and battery storage systems, make home improvements that reduce energy leakage, or upgrade heating and cooling equipment © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Today, the White House released state fact sheets highlighting how the Inflation Reduction Act tackles the climate crisis in states across the country and how families and communities can benefit from a clean energy future. The fact sheet outlines how families can save on their utility bills, get tax credits for electric vehicles and energy-saving appliances, and access the economic opportunities of the clean energy future.
 
President Biden and Congressional Democrats beat back special interests to pass this historic legislation, delivering the most significant action in U.S. history to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen U.S. energy security. By signing the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden is delivering on his promise to lower energy costs, create good-paying jobs, and deliver a clean, secure, and healthy future for families across America.
 
Fact Sheets by State:

Biden Signs Historic Inflation Reduction Act:  ‘It’s about tomorrow. It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families’

Here is an edited, highlighted transcript of President Joe Biden’s remarks as he signed the Inflation Reduction Act, with historic investments in climate action, long-fought improvements in health care and prescription drug affordability, tax reform and deficit reduction, and in the immortal words of Biden as Obama’s VP, a “BFD.” –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Joe Biden signs the historic, transformative Inflation Reduction Act, saying “It’s about tomorrow. It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families.” The act makes historic investments in climate action, long-fought improvements in health care and prescription drug affordability, tax reform and deficit reduction, and in the immortal words of Biden as Obama’s VP, a “BFD.” (via C-Span)

I’m about to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, one of the most significant laws in our history.  Let me say from the start: With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost.  The American people won and the special interests lost. 

For a while, people doubted whether any of that was going to happen. But we are in a season of substance.  This administration began amid a dark time in America — as Jim said, “a once-in-a-century pandemic” — devastating joblessness, clear and present threats to democracy and the rule of law, doubts about America’s future itself.  

And yet, we’ve not wavered.  We’ve not flinched.  And we’ve not given in.  Instead, we’re delivering results for the American people.  We didn’t tear down; we built up.  We didn’t look back; we looked forward.

And today — today offers further proof that the soul of America is vibrant, the future of America is bright, and the promise of America is real and just beginning.  (Applause.) 

Look, the bill I’m about to sign is not just about today, it’s about tomorrow.  It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families.

It’s about showing the American and the American people that democracy still works in America — notwithstanding all the — all the talk of its demise — not just for the privileged few, but for all of us.

You know, I swore an oath of office to you and to God to faithfully execute the duties of this sacred office.

To me, the critical duty — the critical duty of the presidency is to defend what is best about America.  And that’s not hyperbole.  Defend what’s best about America.  To pursue justice, to ensure fairness, and to deliver results that create possibilities — possibilities that all of us — all of us can live a life of consequence and prosperity in a nation that’s safe and secure.  That’s the job.  

Fulfilling that pledge to you guides me every single hour of every single day in this job.  

You know, presidents should be judged not only by our words, but by our deeds; not by our rhetoric, but by our actions; not by our promise, but by reality.  

And today is part of an extraordinary story that’s being written by this administration and our brave allies in the Congress.

This law — this law that I’m about to sign finally delivers on a promise that Washington has made for decades to the American people.  

I got here as a 29-year-old kid.  We were promising to make sure that Medicare would have the power to negotiate lower drug prices back then — back then — prescription drug prices.  

But guess what?  We’re giving Medicare the power to negotiate those prices now, on some drugs.

This means seniors are going to pay less for their prescription drugs while we’re changing circumstances for people on Medicare by putting a cap — a cap of a maximum of $2,000 a year on their prescription drug costs, no matter what the reason for those prescriptions are.

That means if you’re on Medicare, you’ll never have to pay more than $2,000 a year no matter how many prescriptions you have, whether it’s for cancer or any other disease.  No more than $2,000 a year.

And you all know it because a lot of you come from families that need this.  This is a Godsend.  This is a Godsend to many families and so, so long overdue. 


The Inflation Reduction Act locks in place lower healthcare premiums for millions of families who get their coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  

Last year, a family of four saved on average $2,400 through the American Rescue Plan that I signed into law that Congress voted in place.

In the years ahead, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, 13 million people are going to continue — continue to save an average of $800 a year on health insurance.

The Inflation Reduction Act invests $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever — ever, ever, ever — in confronting the climate crisis and strengthening our economic — our energy security.

It’s going to offer working families thousands of dollars in savings by providing them rebates to buy new and efficient appliances, weatherize their homes, get tax credit for purchasing heat pumps and rooftop solar, electric stoves, ovens, dryers.
 
It gives consumers a tax credit to buy electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles, new or used.  And it gives them a credit — a tax credit of up to $7,500 if those vehicles were made in America. 

American auto companies, along with American labor, are committing their treasure and their talent — billions of dollars in investment — to make electric vehicles and battery and electric charging stations all across America, made in America.  All of it made in America.

This new law also provides tax credits that’s going to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and clean energy manufacturing jobs, solar factories in the Midwest and the South, wind farms across the plains and off our shores, clean hydrogen projects and more — all across America, every part of America.

This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever — ever — and it’s going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting all of my climate goals — the ones we set out when we ran.

It includes ensuring that we create clean energy opportunities in frontline and fence-line communities that have been smothered — smothered by the legacy of pollution, and fight environmental injustice that’s been going on for so long.

And here’s another win for the American people: In addition to cutting the deficit by $350 billion last year, in my first year in office, and cutting it $1.7 trillion this year, this fiscal year, we’re going to cut the deficit — I point out — by another $300 billion with the Inflation Reduction Act over the next decade.

We’re cutting deficit to fight inflation by having the wealthy and big corporations finally begin to pay part of their fair share.

Big corporations will now pay a minimum 15 percent tax instead of 55 of them got away with paying zero dollars in federal income tax on $40 billion in profit. 

And I’m keeping my campaign commitment: No one — let me emphasize — no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes.  (Applause.) 

Folks, the Inflation Reduction Act does so many things that, for so many years, so many of us have fought to make happen.

And let’s be clear: In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote — every single one.

In fact, the big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to defeat this bill.  A hundred million dollars.

And remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against this bill. 

Every single Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering healthcare costs, against a fairer tax system.

Every single Republican — every single one — voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy costs, against creating good-paying jobs.

My fellow Americans, that’s the choice we face: We can protect the already-powerful or show the courage to build a future where everybody has an even shot.

That’s the America I believe in.  (Applause.)  That’s what I believe in. 

And today — and today, we’ve come a step closer to making that America real.

Today, too often we confuse noise with substance.  Too often we confuse setbacks with defeat.  Too often we hand the biggest microphone to the critics and the cynics who delight in declaring failure while those committed to making real progress do the hard work of governing.


Making progress in this country as big and complicated as ours clearly is not easy.  It’s never been easy.

But with unwavering conviction, commitment, and patience, progress does come…

And when it does, like today, people’s lives are made better and the future becomes brighter, and a nation can be transformed.

That’s what’s happening now.  From the American Rescue Plan that helped create nearly 10 million new jobs, to a once-in-a-generation infrastructure law that will rebuild America’s roads, bridges, ports; deliver clean water, high-speed Internet to every American; to the first meaningful gun safety law in 30 years — and if I have anything to do with it, we’re still going to have an assault weapons ban, but that’s another story.  And to get significant veterans’ healthcare law in decades, for the first time; to a groundbreaking CHIPS and Science Law that’s going to ensure that technologies and jobs of the future are made here in America — in America.

(Applause.) 

And all this progress is part of our vision and plan and determined effort to get the job done for the American people, so they can look their child in the eye and say, “Honey, it’s going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

Everything is going to make sure that democracy delivers for your generation.  Because I think that’s at stake.

And, now, I know there are those here today who hold a dark and despairing view of this country.  I’m not one of them.

I believe in the promise of America.  I believe in the future of this country.  I believe in the very soul of this nation.  And most of all, I believe in you, the American people.

I believe to my core there isn’t a single thing this country cannot do when we put our mind to it.  We just have to remember who we are.  We are the United States of America.

There is nothing nothing beyond our capacity. That’s why so many foreign companies decided to invest their — make chips in America. Billions of dollars.  We’re the best.  We have to believe in ourselves again.

And now I’m going to take action that I’ve been looking forward to doing for 18 months.  (Laughter and applause.)  I’m going to sign the Inflation Reduction Law.  (Applause.)

Okay.  Here you go. (The bill is signed.)

LEADER SCHUMER:  It’s now law.

(Applause.)

FACT SHEET: Biden Takes Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing

Historic Actions Include Authorizing Defense Production Act to Lower Energy Costs, Strengthen Power Grid, and Create Good-Paying Jobs

Solar array on a farm in upstate New York. Biden is accelerating and incentivizing clean energy manufacture in the US. The nation is on track to triple domestic solar manufacturing capacity by 2024 –  to reach 22.5 gigawatts by the end of Biden’s first term, enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy each year. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

I find it infuriating that the “news” is completely taken over by the latest travesties by Trump, Putin and Supreme Court, fueling anger and cynicism among Democrats and Progressives who may well take their anger out at the polls and simply not vote – that, I would remind you, is how we got Trump and this Christo Fascist Supreme Court. Biden Administration not doing anything on climate change? Inflation? Health care? Nonsense. This administration has been incredibly productive – finding real solutions, not bandaids, rhetoric and hype, that have at their foundation a sense of equity, sustainability and social justice. Want to solve inflation? Not by the Keystone Pipeline or overturning coal plant rules, but investing in EV infrastructure, as Biden wants to do. But you wouldn’t know it from the media, social or otherwise. It is our practice, then, to publish first-hand accounts from the White House, federal agencies and officials. –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Today’s clean energy technologies are a critical part of the arsenal we must harness to lower energy costs for families, reduce risks to our power grid, and tackle the urgent crisis of a changing climate. From day one, President Biden has mobilized investment in these critical technologies. Thanks to his clean energy and climate agenda, last year marked the largest deployment of solar, wind, and batteries in United States history, and our nation is now a magnet for investment in clean energy manufacturing.
 
Since President Biden took office, the private sector has committed over $100 billion in new private capital to make electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. We have made historic investments in clean hydrogen, nuclear, and other cutting-edge technologies. And companies are investing billions more to grow a new domestic offshore wind industry.
 
We are also now on track to triple domestic solar manufacturing capacity by 2024. The expansions to domestic solar manufacturing capacity announced since President Biden took office will grow the current base capacity of 7.5 gigawatts by an additional 15 gigawatts. This would total 22.5 gigawatts by the end of his first term – enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy each year.
 
While President Biden continues pushing Congress to pass clean energy investments and tax cuts, he is taking bold action to rapidly build on this progress and create a bridge to this American-made clean energy future. Today, President Biden is taking action to:  

  • Authorize use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies, including solar panel parts;
  • Put the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity by directing the development of master supply agreements, including “super preference” status; and
  • Create a 24-month bridge as domestic manufacturing rapidly scales up to ensure the reliable supply of components that U.S. solar deployers need to construct clean energy projects and an electric grid for the 21st century, while reinforcing the integrity of our trade laws and processes. 

 Together, these actions will spur domestic manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying jobs – all while cutting energy costs for families, strengthening our grid, and tackling climate change and environmental injustice. With a stronger clean energy arsenal, the United States can be an even stronger partner to our allies, especially in the face of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
 
The stakes could not be higher. That is why President Biden also continues to urge Congress to quickly pass tax cuts and additional investments that advance U.S. clean energy manufacturing and deployment. Failing to take these actions would deny consumers access to cost-cutting clean energy options, add risks to our power grid, and stall domestic clean energy construction projects that are critical to tackling the climate crisis. At the same time, President Biden will keep using his executive authority to take bold action to build an American-made clean energy future.

INVOKING THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT FOR CLEAN ENERGY

Today, President Biden is authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies – unlocking new powers to meet this moment. Specifically, the President is authorizing the Department of Energy to use the DPA to rapidly expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies:

  • Solar panel parts like photovoltaic modules and module components;
  • Building insulation;
  • Heat pumps, which heat and cool buildings super efficiently;
  • Equipment for making and using clean electricity-generated fuels, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, and related platinum group metals; and
  • Critical power grid infrastructure like transformers.

In deploying the DPA, the Biden-Harris Administration will strongly encourage the use of strong labor standards, including project labor agreements and community benefits agreements that offer wages at or above the prevailing rate and include local hire provisions. The Administration also will strongly encourage projects with environmental justice outcomes that empower the clean energy transition in low-income communities historically overburdened by legacy pollution.
 
Following this announcement, the White House and the Department of Energy will convene relevant industry, labor, environmental justice, and other key stakeholders as we maximize the impact of the DPA tools made available by President Biden’s actions and strengthen domestic clean energy manufacturing.
 
BOOSTING MADE-IN-AMERICA CLEAN ENERGY WITH FEDERAL PROCUREMENT
 
President Biden is also putting the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity. Today, the President directed the development of two innovative tools to accelerate Made-in-America clean energy:

  • Master Supply Agreements for domestically manufactured solar systems to increase the speed and efficiency with which domestic clean electricity providers can sell their products to the U.S. Government; and
  • So-called “Super Preferences” to apply domestic content standards for federal procurement of solar systems, including domestically manufactured solar photovoltaic components, consistent with the Buy American Act.

These federal procurement measures can stimulate demand for up to a gigawatt of domestically produced solar modules in the near term, and up to 10 gigawatts over the next decade from U.S. government demand alone. To further increase the impact of these actions, the Administration will also partner with state and local governments and municipal utilities in these innovative arrangements – increasing the potential market impact over the next decade to as much as over 100 gigawatts. These procurement actions will provide a significant demand anchor for a revitalized domestic solar manufacturing industry.
 
SUPPORT FOR U.S. GRID-STRENGTHENING, CLEAN ENERGY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
 
Because of private investor confidence in President Biden’s leadership and our national commitment to a clean energy future, the United States is now on track to triple its solar manufacturing capacity by 2024. The expansions to domestic solar manufacturing capacity announced since the President took office will grow the current 7.5 gigawatts of capacity by an additional 15 gigawatts of capacity, for a total of 22.5 gigawatts by the end of his first term – enough to enable more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy every year. To rapidly build on this progress and create a bridge to this American-made clean energy future, we need to boost short-term solar panel supply to support construction projects in the United States right now. This is because grid operators around the country are relying on planned solar projects to come online to ensure there is sufficient power to meet demand, and to ensure we can continue to deploy solar at the rates needed to keep us on track to meet the President’s climate goals. 
 
Today, President Biden is using his powers to create a 24-month bridge for certain solar imports while reinforcing the integrity of our trade laws and processes. Specifically, the President is:

  • Temporarily facilitating U.S. solar deployers’ ability to source solar modules and cells from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam by providing that those components can be imported free of certain duties for 24 months in order to ensure the U.S. has access to a sufficient supply of solar modules to meet electricity generation needs while domestic manufacturing scales up; and
  • Reinforcing his commitment to safeguarding the integrity and independence of all ongoing trade investigations by career officials at the Department of Commerce and recognizing the vital role these processes play in strengthening our economy.

ADDITIONAL STEPS TO CUT COSTS, SUPPORT GOOD-PAYING JOBS, AND ADVANCE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
 
Today’s actions build on this Administration’s existing initiatives to grow domestic clean energy innovation and manufacturing and to lower energy costs for Americans, including: 

  • Permitting More Clean Energy on Public Lands. As part of the Biden-Harris Permitting Action Plan, a new five-agency collaboration is expediting reviews of clean energy projects on public lands through the Department of the Interior, helping us race ahead toward permitting at least 25 gigawatts by 2025 – enough to power around five million homes. These actions have already increased clean energy permitting activities by 35 percent, including major solar project approvals and leases. We have also launched five new Renewable Energy Coordination Offices and reduced rents and fees by more than 50 percent for solar and wind projects on public lands.
     
  • Boosting Community-Based Clean Energy in Cities and Rural Areas. The Biden-Harris Administration is helping 17 local communities remove red tape with the SolarAPP+ online tool to enable same-day approvals for residential solar installation permits, and an additional 400 interested communities are in the pipeline. The National Climate Task Force launched new initiatives on increasing deployment of Distributed Energy Resources, including rooftop solar, with a focus on bringing the benefits of these projects to underserved communities. The United States Department of Agriculture provided the largest-ever investment in rural renewable energy last year. In addition, the Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services are partnering to develop and pilot a digital platform that will connect customers who are eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program with community solar subscriptions, to further reduce customer energy costs. Likewise, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is working with municipalities to enable residents of affordable housing to directly benefit from low-cost community solar power without seeing a rent increase or adjustment to their utility allowance.
     
  • Supporting a Diverse Solar Workforce with Good-Paying Jobs, including pathways to stable careers with the free and fair choice to join a union. Solar industry jobs consistently rank among the top fastest-growing in the nation, and many require only a high school education or GED. The Economic Development Administration recently awarded funding to support solar employment training in tribal and coal-impacted communities. In addition, the Department of Energy has issued a Request for Information and hosted six workshops to determine common goals and needs from stakeholders, including industry, unions, and training organizations. DOE will continue to explore these issues, including by providing funding, new collaborations with industry, other federal agencies, and state-based job boards to develop equitable worker-centric training and education programs, work-based learning opportunities, and support services such as career counseling, mentorship, and job readiness programs.
     
  • Developing Clean Energy Domestic Manufacturing for Export and Building Capacity in Allied Nations. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Make More in America Initiative, approved by the EXIM board in April, will prioritize investments to expand clean energy manufacturing. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation supports building resilient clean energy manufacturing supply chains in allied nations around the world, reducing global dependence on China.
     
  • Investing in Clean Energy for Resilience in Puerto Rico: The Biden-Harris Administration joined forces with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to advance dozens of solar energy projects that will enable Puerto Rico to meet its target of 100% renewable electricity, while improving power sector resilience and increasing access to more affordable energy and cleaner air. 

White House Memo: President Biden’s Plan to Tackle Inflation

People are really really upset about paying more for gas and groceries, kind of forgetting how it was a year ago to feel you might die from COVID-19. COVID, coupled with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are the two biggest drivers of inflation, which has been even more severe in other countries, but Biden has taken steps to mitigate or reverse – getting blocked at every turn by Republicans. Meanwhile, people can adjust their own behavior to reduce costs – drive less, bike more, for example – and moving the economy to electric vehicles, with billions being spent by the Biden Administration to develop the infrastructure, will also create jobs and increase wages © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House has published a memo outlining President Biden’s plan to tackle inflation:

As our economy begins to transition to more stable growth, President Biden has made combatting inflation and lowering costs for families his top economic priority. President Biden’s plan to tackle inflation has three key pillars: 

1. Reducing costs on everyday items

2. Lowering the deficit

3. Giving the Federal Reserve the independence it needs to act

The biggest single driver of inflation now is Putin’s war against Ukraine –increases in food and energy prices account for around 50% of this month’s CPI. Putin’s Price Hike hit hard in May: gas pump prices are up by $2 a gallon in many places since Russian troops began to threaten Ukraine. President Biden has taken action to blunt the impact of Putin’s Price Hike for families:

• The President announced the release of a record 1 million barrels per day from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

• He rallied our Allies and partners to join us, releasing a combined 240 million additional barrels of oil on the market. 

• He expanded access to biofuels like E15, which will lower prices at thousands of gas stations in the across the country.

• While oil production is increasing and projected to reach a historic level next year, oil companies are sitting on 9,000 unused permits to drill more and pocketing the largest profits in years.

80% of a typical family’s monthly budget is spent on items other than food and energy. That means that even as we work to address energy and food prices in the near-term, making other necessities more affordable for working families can give families more breathing room at the end of the month.

• President Biden announced that tens of millions of households – or nearly 40% of all households in America – will be able to save $50 per month or more on high-speed internet, which is now an economic necessity for American families. 

• President Biden took action to save hundreds of thousands of families hundreds of dollars a month by fixing the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch.” Nearly 1 million Americans would see their coverage become more affordable.

• President Biden has cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion – more this year than any President in history, reducing inflationary pressures. 

The President calls on Congress to act urgently as well.

• The President has called on Congress to pass a bill to crack down on ocean shippers to lower the price of goods. In the last year, shipping prices have gone up by as much as 1,000% driving higher prices for families on items from appliances to apparel. 

• The President calls on Congress to pass legislation to cut costs for families like energy bills and prescription drugs. According to an independent analysis, the clean energy tax credits and investments the President has proposed would save families $500 per year on their energy costs by 2030, and transition our economy away from relying on energy produced by autocrats like Putin. And the President believes that Congress should give Medicare the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, and that Congress should cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month. These reforms wouldn’t just lower costs for consumers; they would also reduce federal spending. 

• Congress could lower the deficit even more by asking the super wealthy and profitable corporations to pay their fair share. According to an outside analysis, 55 companies paid no money in taxes last year. It’s wrong for the super wealthy and profitable corporations to pay a lower tax rate than a teacher or firefighter. 

Congressional Republicans’ only plan to tackle inflation increases taxes for working families. And, their attacks on gas prices are incoherent and dishonest. 

• Senator Rick Scott, a member of Senate Republican Leadership changed his words on his agenda to raise taxes on millions of working and middle class Americans by $1,500, but still said “We need them pulling the wagon and paying taxes” and that he “apologizes to absolutely nobody.” He also stood by his Congressional Republican plan to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every 5 years.

• Congressional Republicans blame President Biden for gas prices, but the truth is that gas pump prices are up by $2 a gallon in many places since Russian troops began to threaten Ukraine. This is Putin’s price hike. A majority of Republicans in Congress support Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and our alliance to strengthen theirposition, and now cynically blame the President for Putin’s actions that have raised prices around the world. That’s not economics, that’s politics.

• Congressional Republicans blame the administration for decreased oil production. The truth is oil production is projected to reach a historic level next year. When oil companies produce less, the cost goes up. In 2020, Americans stayed home more and drove less, so oil companies cut back on oil production and refining. Now, demand has returned, but oil production is still 10% below where it was pre-pandemic. Oil companies are sitting on 9,000 unused permits to drill more and pocketing the largest profits in years. The President has called for — and Congressional Democrats have voted for — a “use it or lose it” policy for permits on federal lands, and Congressional Republicans opposed it. 

• The five biggest oil companies made $35 billion in the first quarter of this year—that’s four times what they made in the same quarter last year. Congressional Republicans oppose making these companies pay their fair share in taxes.

White House Memo: Five Key Points on our Economic Transition and How We Got Here

Even before disruptions to global energy and food markets from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove inflation higher, many other factors boosted demand, shifted its composition, and constrained supply, which led to higher prices. Higher gas prices – which have become a political weapon – are also caused by price gouging as Big Oil reaps record profits. And consumers, spoiled by low gas prices from the last two years, are finding ways to reduce consumption, which would benefit the climate © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This memo, highlighting five key points of America’s transition to sustainable growth, the role the American Rescue Plan played in that growth, and how the Administration is turning its focus to address a range of global economic challenges with inflation chief among them, was provided by the White House:

Earlier this week, the President noted that our economy is in a moment of transition: from what has been an historic economic recovery to what can be a period of stable, steady growth that works for working families. The President understands that Americans are dealing with the challenge of elevated inflation. And addressing inflation is his top economic priority.

This is a moment when we can build on the unique strengths of our recovery to bring down inflation and ensure that we don’t give up the historic economic gains of the last year. It also means building on the recovery to deliver growth that actually works for working families – unlike the growth that we saw too often in the years before the pandemic, when we were promised that gains for those at the top would trickle down to working families. President Biden’s approach is to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.

As we look ahead and aim to achieve stable, steady growth, here are five key points about how we arrived at our current economic moment. In short, the Administration passed the American Rescue Plan in a moment of significant economic uncertainty and, because of the Administration’s decisive action, we now face a range of global economic challenges – with inflation chief among them – from a position of strength. 

  1. The American Rescue Plan helped deliver one of the strongest job markets in American history.

When President Biden took office, the unemployment rate was 6.4% and around 20 million Americans were on unemployment insurance. Since then, the unemployment rate has come down to 3.6 % — with only three times in the last 50 years when the rate has been lower – and fewer than 1.5 million Americans are receiving unemployment insurance. Before the Rescue Plan passed, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the unemployment rate would be 5% right now, and would not drop below 4% until 2026. In addition, the number of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who are working or looking for work is higher today than it was before the pandemic began. In the wake of the Great Recession, that recovery took 12 years. As the Washington Post noted this weekend, we are in the midst of a “great return to work.” While it “took more than six years to recover from the Great Recession … this jobs recovery is on track to take about 2.5 years. That’s worth celebrating.”

  1. The American Rescue Plan has meant the U.S. recovery has been the envy of the world.

According to the latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. economy will be larger at the end of this year—relative to its pre-pandemic size—than any other Group of 7 economy. The U.S. economy may grow faster this year than China’s economy for the first time since 1976, according to a projection by Bloomberg Economics. CBO recently projected that U.S. economic growth would continue in 2022 and 2023, albeit at a slower rate than in 2021, with unemployment remaining low and inflation falling throughout this year and next. The CBO forecast was roughly in line with the consensus of private sector forecasters.

  1. The American Rescue Plan has meant economic security for millions of families.

Since President Biden took office, incomes are up 5.1% overall and by 11.9% for the bottom 50% of the income distribution – even after accounting for inflation – due to job creation and higher earnings. Self-reported financial well-being at the end of 2021 reached its highest level on record, with 78% of adults reporting that they are financially comfortable. In the same survey, 68% of Americans said they could cover a $400 emergency cash expenses – the highest level in the history of the survey and up 18 percentage points since 2013. Bankruptcy filings also remained below pre-pandemic levels, eviction filings have remained 30% below pre-pandemic levels across the eight months since the eviction moratorium ended, and foreclosures hit an all-time low in 2021.

  1. The Rescue Plan didn’t just improve our economic position; it improved our fiscal position too.

The CBO projected that the deficit will fall by $1.7 trillion this year. This is the largest nominal reduction in the federal deficit in history. According to their projections, the deficit as a share of the economy this year will be at a lower level than in 2019, before the pandemic. It is also a lower level than CBO projected for this year before the American Rescue Plan passed, showing that the strong economic recovery resulting from President Biden’s economic and vaccination plans were not just good for our economy but also for our fiscal position. Public debt as a percent of the economy is also projected to be lower this year than was projected before the Rescue Plan passed – further reflecting the degree to which our strong economic recovery has improved our fiscal position. This progress on deficits and debt was not pre-ordained. In addition to responsibly winding down emergency programs, around half of the reduction in the deficit this year is projected to be driven by an increase in revenues, as household and business earnings have increased given the strong economic recovery.

  1. Inflation is a global challenge, with many causes, but the Rescue Plan is not its predominant cause.

Inflation is elevated around the world, particularly in light of Putin’s invasion into Ukraine, which has driven global food and energy prices higher. Inflation is at its highest level on record in the Euro Area and in Germany, the highest level in 40 years in the U.K., and the highest level in more than 30 years in Canada. Consumer prices have risen by 8.2% in the United States in the last year, 8.1% in the Euro Area, and 9% in the United Kingdom.

Putin’s actions in Ukraine have driven inflation higher in recent months, with gas prices up $1.51 since Putin began amassing troops on the border of Ukraine. It is of course not plausible that disruptions in global energy and food markets are the result of the American Rescue Plan.

And even before disruptions to global energy and food markets have driven inflation higher, many other factors boosted demand, shifted its composition, and constrained supply, which led to higher prices. The pandemic meant that American consumers shifted their consumption from services to durable goods. Businesses were unprepared for demand returning quickly, and we saw an inward shift in supply capacity – from auto production to domestic energy production to rental cars. And supply chain pressures meant bottlenecks and thinner inventories that also drove up prices.

That’s why we know that even without the Rescue Plan – or with a smaller Rescue Plan – inflation would have still been elevated. In fact, according to one independent analysis, keeping inflation close to 2% would have required an unemployment rate in the double digits – instead of today’s 3.6% unemployment rate. Moreover, without the Rescue Plan, another independent analysis shows that we would have had less growth, less job creation, and more human suffering.

Biden Administration Makes Historic Investments To Create Opportunity and Build Wealth in Rural America 

During the State of the Union, President Biden will cite the historic investments the Biden Administration is making to create opportunity and build wealth in rural America, $1 billion will go toward Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas to support entities in rural or remote areas to increase environmental protection from the impacts of energy use and improve resilience, reliability, safety, and availability of energy © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine likely to take up a large measure of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, he is unlikely to have enough time or space to detail his accomplishments and his agenda going forward. Here are more details from the White House about the Biden Administration’s historic investments to create opportunity and build wealth in rural America:

President Biden is committed to ensuring that rural Americans have the opportunity to succeed – and that they can find that opportunity in rural America. This commitment is not just vital for rural Americans, but vital for the country as a whole. For centuries, rural Americans have driven the country’s economic growth and provided the country and the world with food and fuel—and they continue to do so today. They are small business owners revitalizing Main Streets. They care for our land, ensuring that all Americans have access to nature and recreation.

In its first year, the Biden Administration has made historic investments in rural communities through the American Rescue Plan: slashing poverty and lowering costs, creating jobs and new economic opportunities, and expanding access to health care. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a once-in-a-generation federal investment so that all rural Americans gain access to clean drinking water, are able to use high-speed broadband internet for education and business, and have safe roads and bridges for both people and goods. In addition, the Administration has invested $2.8 billion in coal and power plant communities, ensuring that these communities that fueled our country’s industrial revolution will continue to thrive in decades to come.

In the year ahead, the Biden Administration will partner with rural America to determine how best to invest these unprecedented federal resources to support local priorities.

Lowering costs for working families in rural America

The Biden Administration is building a stronger, more equitable economy that does not leave anyone behind, including rural communities that for too long have faced underinvestment and persistent poverty. Already, because of the Administration’s support for working families through the American Rescue Plan, rural poverty is estimated to have fallen by 70 percent in 2021. President Biden knows working families are the backbone of our economy, and is delivering for them in rural America.

  • Tax relief for rural working families. The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six, and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, while raising the age limit from 16 to 17 for 2021. The President’s plans call for extending this critical tax cut, which expired in December 2021. The American Rescue Plan also ensured that all lower- and moderate-income families were eligible for the full expanded child tax credit. In addition, the American Rescue Plan nearly tripled the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without dependent children to $1,500, benefitting about 2.7 million rural workers.
     
  • Lowering rural Americans’ rent and mortgage payments and energy and water bills. The American Rescue Plan enabled single-family, COVID-affected borrowers with mortgages backed by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to refinance their mortgages and provided rental assistance to 26,000 rural tenants. Rural Americans have also benefitted from the Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Homeowner Assistance Fund, which together provided tens-of-billions of dollars to keep people safely housed during the pandemic. In addition, the American Rescue Plan provided $4.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program—more than doubling typical annual funding—and $500 million for the first-ever federal water assistance program, lowering water and wastewater bills for rural households.
     
  • Lower child care costs and support child care providers. Even before the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of rural Americans lived in areas where there is a significant shortage of licensed child care slots, with nine infants and toddlers for every one child care slot in rural America. Rural children are less likely to be enrolled in pre-K programs than urban and suburban children. The pandemic made it harder for rural families to access these programs – with 1 in 11 licensed child care providers closing before between December 2020 and March 2021. The President secured $39 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to provide a lifeline to child care providers so they could stay open without raising prices for families. This funding has already reached more than 150,000 child care providers, including those across rural America. The American Rescue Plan also provided funding to all 1,600 Head Start grantees, which serve the vast majority of rural counties and sometimes serve as the only provider in a rural community. This funding helped allow these grantees to serve 91% of Head Start children fully in-person, compared to 38% in December 2020. Early care and education were out of reach for too many rural families before the pandemic, which is why the President has also called on Congress to cut child care spending in half for most families, offer every 3- and 4-year old free preschool, and boost the number of high-quality child care programs in high-need areas, including in rural America.
  • Helping states and local governments – as well as tribes and territories – provide additional direct assistance to lower families’ costs. The American Rescue Plan delivered $350 billion for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, providing support for critical investments in 3,000 counties and 30,000 small towns. These funds offer the flexibility local governments need to address their communities’ most pressing needs. Already, over 20 states and scores of counties have used these funds to directly help families, including critical food assistance, utility assistance, and other help with basics for the hardest hit families. For example, Macon-Bibb County, GA committed $2.5 million to fight food insecurity in the community, including funds to address food deserts and support local food banks; New Hanover County, NH has committed $1 million to support homeowners who are behind on their mortgage; and Doña Ana County, NM has committed $1.2 million in direct medical relief funds for COVID-19 medical bills.
  • Lowering costs and improving access to an education beyond high school for rural students. The Department of Education (ED) is investing $198 million in American Rescue Plan funding for competitive grants for rural colleges and universities that serve a high percentage of low-income students and are experiencing enrollment declines. With this funding, rural institutions can cover the cost of COVID-19 mitigation efforts, such as testing and personal protective equipment; support their students’ ability to meet basic needs by providing meal vouchers, childcare subsidies, and mental health services; facilitate continued enrollment and re-enrollment through support services such as academic counseling; and expand workforce programs that lead to in-demand jobs.  
     
  • Improved access to affordable, nutritious food for rural Americans. Through the American Rescue Plan, USDA expanded access to the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, including through the summer, to allow families with children receiving school meals to purchase healthy food more easily. The American Rescue Plan also increased SNAP benefits by 15% through September 2021. Beginning on October 1, 2021, USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan update increased SNAP benefits by $36.30 per person per month on average. These updates will increase the well-being of 2.9 million people in rural areas, including 800,000 children, reducing rural poverty by 11 percent and rural child poverty by 20 percent. USDA also invested $1 billion, including $500 million in American Rescue Plan funding, in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to support and expand emergency food access so states, food banks, and local organizations can reliably serve their communities, with a focus on reaching rural and underserved areas.

 
Creating jobs in rural America and supporting rural-led economic development

The Biden Administration is committed to expanding opportunity to all corners of the country. That means good-paying, union jobs and economic opportunity in rural communities so that today’s workers can live with dignity and security, and rural youth can see a bright future right in their hometowns. As of October 2021, the unemployment rate in rural counties that experience persistent poverty had returned to pre-pandemic levels, ranging from 3.4 percent to 4.7 percent. President Biden will continue building on that progress and the many efforts across the Administration to create jobs and build wealth in rural America.

  • Build resilient rural economies. The American Rescue Plan invested a historic $3 billion in the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build local economies that are resilient to future economic shocks, including a $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. In December 2021, EDA announced 60 finalists for its $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which will support regional coalitions to develop transformative projects that strengthen regional industry clusters. These finalists include 12 coal communities, and more than 80% of the finalists propose to serve rural communities, including ten proposals focused on growing or developing agriculture and natural resource industries.
     
  • Revitalize America’s energy communities. In February 2021, President Biden established the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to identify and deliver resources to the coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities that have powered our country for generations. The working group identified 25 communities across the country for immediate strategic investment. Since then, member agencies have delivered more than $2.8 billion in federal investment to these communities, including $167 million through USDA’s Renewable Energy for America Program and the Electric Loan Program. The working group also established a resource clearinghouse with more than $181 billion in open and planned funding opportunities for energy communities, to facilitate access to federal programs.
     
  • Invest in state and local workforce programs and small business support. More than half of all states are using the American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to retain and train workers for new and better jobs, and over 20 states have provided direct support to small businesses. Wisconsin’s $9.4 million investment in American Rescue Plan funds in University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s regional workforce development strategy recruits and connects rural workers and students with careers in healthcare, education, and social services – areas where the state has critical shortages. Gallatin County, MT is investing $2 million in American Rescue Plan funds to develop and expand programs in construction trades, welding, fabrication, manufacturing and healthcare. And, local governments are using American Rescue Plan funds to retain essential workers across the country, from Erie, NY to St. Croix County, WI to Umatilla County, OR.
     
  • Support outreach and technical assistance to rural businesses. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Navigator Pilot Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan, is reducing barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs – including those in rural America – often face in accessing the resources they need to recover, grow, or start their businesses. The program is providing a total of $100 million to 51 nonprofits, state and local governments, universities, and tribal entities that will work with organizations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico to provide technical assistance to small businesses in underserved communities.
     
  • Advance workforce development solutions in rural communities. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative (WORC) is a partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority to support workers in rural communities impacted by economic transitions, especially in the energy sector. WORC funds provide job training and support services to dislocated workers, incumbent workers, and new entrants to the workforce to help connect them with good jobs in high-demand occupations. In 2021, DOL announced a third round of WORC grants for $29 million to 23 organizations, demonstrating the Biden Administration’s ongoing commitment to strengthening economic stability and opportunities for workers in rural communities.
     
  • Grow rural America’s outdoor recreation economy by expanding hunting and fishing. To help expand rural America’s outdoor recreation economy, the Biden Administration last year opened new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities on 2.1 million acres of public lands, the largest such expansion in U.S. history. The Administration also recently announced a record $1.5 billion in annual funding through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program to support state and local outdoor recreational opportunities, and wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. These efforts, along with a new Task Force on Collaborative Conservation that the Administration launched in partnership with the Western Governors Association, will support America’s hunting and fishing traditions and help power the continued growth of the nation’s outdoor economy. In addition, the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior are collaborating to invest $2.8 billion under the Great American Outdoors Act to improve access, experiences, and partnerships for outdoor recreation that not only promote tourism but also protect America’s public lands while creating jobs and opportunities in rural communities. EDA is also investing $750 million in American Rescue Plan funding through the Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, including $510 million that has already been provided to states.

 
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities

The COVID-19 pandemic spared no part of the country, but rural communities have faced additional challenges that impact the delivery of services and assistance, including limited health care infrastructure and clinicians. As our nation turned the tide of the pandemic from crisis to recovery, the Biden Administration worked to ensure rural communities have the tools they need to combat COVID-19, keep schools open and safe, and come back stronger than before.

  • Safely reopen rural schools and help students make up for lost learning time. The American Rescue Plan surged $130 billion to our states, territories, tribes, and local communities to help them safely reopen our schools and keep them open, while addressing the impacts of the pandemic on students, including on their learning and mental health. Roughly $16 billion of these funds went to rural communities and $850 million went to Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools and Tribally-controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs). These are critical resources that are helping rural communities and school districts meet key challenges, including funds that school districts can use to address staff shortages. In addition, investments in broadband in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be critical to supporting the education of young people in rural communities and closing the homework gap. As part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to reopen healthy learning environments, USDA issued a broad range of flexibilities and provided significant additional resources to allow school meal programs across the country to return to serving nutritious meals in fall 2021.
     
  • Dedicated COVID-19 testing for rural hospitals and clinics. The Biden Administration delivered $425 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in 4,200 rural health clinics, and $398 million in funding to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation for over 1,500 small rural hospitals. HHS provided up to $100,000 per clinic and up to $230,000 per hospital to increase COVID-19 testing, expand access to testing in rural communities, and broaden efforts to respond to and mitigate the spread of the virus in ways tailored to community needs.
     
  • Deliver rapid tests to rural health clinics. HHS is currently distributing millions of rapid over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests to rural health clinics that reach uninsured and underserved communities, often among those hardest-hit by the pandemic.
     
  • Increase vaccine education and outreach efforts in rural communities. The Biden Administration awarded over $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding to rural health clinics across the country to support vaccine outreach in rural communities. This funding is being used to assist rural residents in accessing vaccinations, as well as education and outreach efforts around the benefits of vaccination. 
     
  • Expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and supplies, while strengthening rural health care providers. The American Rescue Plan provided $500 million for USDA to create the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program. The program provides $350 million to help rural hospitals and local communities increase access to COVID-19 vaccines and testing, medical supplies, telehealth, and food assistance, and support the construction or renovation of rural health care facilities. It also provides recovery funds that compensate for lost revenue or staffing expenses due to COVID-19. In addition, the program provides up to $125 million in grants to plan and implement models that help improve the long-term viability of rural health care providers, including health care networks that allow rural providers to collectively address community challenges and develop innovative solutions.

Improving access to health care and lowering health care costs for rural communities

Rural communities face persistent disparities in health outcomes and access to care, including higher rates of uninsured individuals, health care workforce shortages, and often difficulty reaching the nearest hospital. In many rural communities, the hospital is the largest employer in the area, providing jobs and supporting the local economy. Yet, rural hospitals have increasingly closed their doors, including 19 in 2020 alone. And rural hospital closures have been pervasive in non-expansion states. Of the ten states with the most rural hospital closures since 2010, most are in non-expansion states —the only two that are not, Oklahoma and Missouri, just began their expansions in 2021. Moreover, rural counties in the South are racially and ethnically diverse, and in some non-expansion states, rural hospitals that closed were more likely to be in counties with a higher share of Black residents. Similar disparities exist for rural hospitals at risk of closure. The Biden Administration is taking action to improve the health of rural communities by ensuring rural Americans have the health care and coverage they need and deserve and helping rural hospitals stay open.

  • Lower health care costs for rural Americans. The American Rescue Plan has done more to lower costs and expand access to health care than any action since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It has made quality coverage more affordable than ever—with families saving an average of $2,400 on their annual premiums, and four out of five consumers finding quality coverage for under $10 a month. The President’s plan continues these savings, keeping health insurance affordable for millions of Americans, including those living in rural communities.
     
  • Expand rural health care coverage and keep rural hospitals open. Since President Biden took office, nearly 700,000 rural Americans have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan. Throughout 2021, the Administration ensured that rural Americans who needed coverage could sign up for it, including through the most recent HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period in which over 1.8 million rural Americans enrolled in coverage. The President’s plan builds on that progress, expanding Medicaid coverage in those states that have refused to expand it. Closing this gap is estimated to reduce the risk of rural hospital closure by 62%. Rural hospital closures deprive people living in rural areas of crucial services, including access to emergency care. To fill this gap, HHS will establish a new provider type, Rural Emergency Hospitals, which will allow facilities to offer emergency department services, observation care, and/or outpatient services in rural areas.
     
  • Support rural health care providers. The American Rescue Plan provided $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to help compensate health care providers who serve rural Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) patients for lost revenue and increased expenses associated with COVID-19. In December 2021, HHS announced that it distributed $7.5 billion of these funds to 40,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and six territories. These funds help ensure that providers can effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including supporting recruitment and retention efforts amidst workforce shortages and staff burnout, and place them on stable financial footing to continue serving their communities into the future.
     
  • Increase the number of health care providers in rural communities. The Administration made a historic $1.5 billion investment, including $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan, in its health workforce loan repayment and scholarship programs. More than 22,700 primary care clinicians funded by these programs now serve in underserved communities, including rural and tribal communities—the largest number ever. This group of health care providers includes nearly 20,000 National Health Service Corps members, more than 2,500 Nurse Corps nurses, and approximately 250 awardees under a new program, the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program. Currently, one-third of HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration workforce serves in a rural community where health care access may be especially limited or require patients to travel long distances to receive treatment. HHS is also making $48 million from the American Rescue Plan available to expand public health capacity in rural and tribal communities through health care job development, training, and placement. This will increase the number of well-trained health care professionals and connect them with future employers, including hospitals and clinics in rural areas.
     
  • Expand access to pulmonary rehabilitation services. This year, HHS will support a demonstration project to enhance access to pulmonary rehabilitation services in Critical Access Hospitals that serve rural communities with high rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and adults in rural areas are almost twice as likely to have it compared to those in urban areas.
     
  • Expand Veterans Affairs training programs for rural providers outside of the VA system. The Rural Interprofessional Faculty Development Initiative, developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is an innovative two-year training program designed to provide teaching and training skills for clinicians in rural settings, preparing rural clinicians to take on faculty roles, mentor medical professionals to serve in rural America, and grow the healthcare workforce in rural communities. In 2021, VA launched a new joint initiative with HHS, adding non-VA community clinicians to the program. This joint initiative will benefit up to 40 rural communities each year and enable rural clinicians to better train the next generation of clinicians who will serve rural America.
     
  • Increase access to telehealth. Telehealth services greatly increased during the pandemic and the Biden-Harris Administration has issued several telehealth supports including research conducted by NIH; funding for broadband, smart phones and internet connectivity; and an expansion of eligible services that can be delivered via telehealth, including a new rule that expands access to tele-mental health services for Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare will also now pay for mental health visits furnished via telehealth when they are provided by Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers. This policy expands access to Medicare beneficiaries, especially those living in rural and other underserved areas.
     
  • Ensure access to effective treatment and recovery for substance use disorders. In January, HHS announced the availability of $13 million in funding to increase access to behavioral health care services and address health inequities in rural America, including through evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment for substance use disorder.
     
  • Address America’s mental health crisis. Through the American Rescue Plan, the Administration has made significant investments in expanding access to mental health and substance use services. The President’s FY22 budget also calls for investments in the mental health care workforce that will help address the shortage of professionals in rural and underserved areas. The Administration is committed to additional actions to address the mental health crisis by building workforce capacity, connecting more people to care, and creating a continuum of support for all Americans.
     
  • Support states in making public health investments through the American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Over two thirds of states and hundreds of communities have already committed funds from the American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to address public health needs in their communities. For example, the State of Colorado is investing in an online training curriculum for providers in rural areas on mental health and substance use disorders to improve behavioral health supports. Bowie County, TX partnered with Christus St. Michael Hospital to provide vaccines at the hospital facility and several mobile vaccine clinics throughout the county, to reach the rural area of the county.

 
Rebuilding rural America’s infrastructure with a once-in-a-generation investment

For far too long, critical infrastructure needs in rural communities have been ignored. Building on an initial investment in the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivers on the President’s promises to provide high speed internet, safe roads and bridges, modern wastewater systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good paying jobs in every rural community. A generational investment in rural America, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will spend billions of dollars to revitalize and rebuild rural communities across the country.

  • Provide high-speed internet to every home and making internet affordable for low-income rural Americans. By one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds – a particular problem in rural areas across the country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $65 billion to make high-speed internet available to all Americans, bring down high-speed internet prices across the board, and provide technical assistance to rural communities seeking to expand broadband. In addition, it will help families afford internet service by providing eligible households with a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet services, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop or tablet.
  • Invest in critical rural broadband and water infrastructure through the American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Through the American Rescue Plan’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, 20 states have expanded access to high-speed internet and 21 states are improving water and sewer infrastructure, including lead removal. Additionally, many local communities are leveraging American Rescue Plan funds to expand broadband services in rural areas. For example, Kandiyohi County, MN made an initial $1.3 million investment in a project that will expand high-speed broadband to rural townships. Miami County, FL allocated $1.4 million to help fund an expansion of high-speed internet to rural parts of the county, including to underserved students in low-income areas. Oconto County, WI approved $2 million to provide high-speed wireless internet to underserved rural areas.
     
  • Create good-paying jobs cleaning up legacy pollution in rural communities. The President is committed to creating good-paying jobs in rural communities across the country and ensuring those communities are safe, high-quality places to live. Legacy pollution from industries that extracted natural resources from rural areas and left behind huge quantities of environmental degradation has held back the economic growth and success of rural communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is creating good-paying jobs cleaning up these sites by investing $4.7 billion through an interagency initiative to plug, remediate, and restore dangerous orphan well sites across the country; nearly $11.3 billion to create good-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mine lands; and $1 billion to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country.
     
  • Improve rural Americans’ access to transit systems and functional highway systems to they can get to school and work and bring their products to market. Limited access to transportation options in rural and remote areas impedes American’s access to jobs, basic services, and their communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests billions of dollars to make sure rural families can get where they need to go, including through a $4.58 billion investment in Rural Area Formula Grants at the Department of Transportation (DOT). This program will support 1,300 rural transit systems by enabling them to purchase transit vehicles and infrastructure, plan transit more effectively, and fund operations. This investment builds on $282 million in American Rescue Plan funding that helped rural transit systems maintain and restore service during the pandemic.
     
  • Ensure clean drinking water and basic sanitation in rural homes. Across the country, including in rural and Tribal communities, pipes and treatment plants are aging and polluted drinking water endanger public health. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s transformative $55 billion investment in our water and wastewater infrastructure will fundamentally change quality of life for millions of Americans by eliminating lead pipes, providing critical access to sanitation, ensuring access to affordable clean drinking water, and reducing drought.
     
  • Build rural communities resilient to natural disasters and the threats of climate change. Last year, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses over $1 billion – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. These included damaging floods, wildfires, and wind storms across rural America. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will improve the resilience of rural communities by investing $3.5 billion to improve home energy efficiency for low-income families, reducing energy costs, improving household comfort and safety, and cutting pollution.
     
  • Invest in resilience and restoration on national forest lands. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will restore our national forests through the planting of 1.2 billion trees over the next decade, coupled with landmark investments in science-based hazardous fuels treatments that will protect communities from wildfire. The resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide a critical down payment to implement the USDA Forest Service’s 10-year strategy to reduce wildfire, which has a goal of treating 50 million acres across Federal and non-Federal lands. 
     
  • Provide high-quality, safe roads and bridges for rural communities. While Americans living in rural areas account for just 20% of the population, they comprise nearly half of all roadway fatalities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver safer roads, bridges, railway crossings, and other critical improvement to the quality and safety of our roadways. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also invests $1.2 billion to complete the Appalachian Development Highway System, connecting the rural regions of Appalachia, creating jobs, and linking businesses with domestic and international markets.
     
  • Upgrade electric and transmission infrastructure in rural America. Power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. For example, the recent Texas power outages caused estimated losses of up to $90 billion for the state. At times, rural communities can be without power for days during these outages. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $1 billion in Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas to support entities in rural or remote areas to increase environmental protection from the impacts of energy use and improve resilience, reliability, safety, and availability of energy.
     
  • Explore the use of materials made from bioproducts to open up new market opportunities for farmers. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $10 million in grants to support research on the economic, social and environmental benefits of using materials derived from bioproducts in the development and manufacturing of construction and consumer products.

 
Strengthening the food system and creating market opportunities for America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, American farmers, ranchers, processors, farmworkers, and other workers across the supply chain continued to adapt and put food on the table for American families, despite disruptions and other challenges. The Biden-Harris Administration is building on lessons learned during the pandemic to transform the food system so that it is more competitive, balanced, and equitable for everyone working in food and agriculture.

  • Address supply chain disruptions for families and farmers. As part of a whole-of-government response to tackle new and emerging near-term supply chain disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and historic economic recovery, President Biden established a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force in June, bringing together industry, labor, and federal partners to alleviate bottlenecks and higher input costs for farmers, address rising prices at the grocery store, and support agricultural exporters. For example, USDA is leveraging $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds to offer a Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program, making available nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees to back private investment in processing and food supply infrastructure that will strengthen the food supply chain for the American people and create jobs in rural communities.
     
  • Advance equity in agriculture. In February 2022, USDA held the first meeting of the new USDA Equity Commission, which is supported by the American Rescue Plan and will evaluate USDA programs and services and recommend how USDA can reduce barriers for accessing them.  Additionally, USDA has begun to deploy American Rescue Plan funds to support technical assistance and access to land, credit, and markets for historically underserved producers. USDA provided $50 million in Natural Resource Conservation Funds to organizations working with underserved communities and another approximately $75 million in American Rescue Plan funding to 20 organizations to provide technical assistance to connect underserved producers with USDA programs and services. Additionally, in July 2021, USDA rolled out the Heirs’ Property Relending Program, which provides funds to assist heirs in resolving ownership and succession issues on farmland with multiple owners.
     
  • Support a fairer, more competitive, and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain. In, January 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, outlining how USDA will invest an additional $900 million in American Rescue Plan funding. As part of this effort, USDA recently announced $150 million in grants for new and expanded processing through a new Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program, $25 million to provide technical assistance support, and $40 million to support workforce development and training, including at community and junior colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions. As part of the Action Plan, USDA will invest $500 million in additional grants and lending to further strengthen financing for independent processing, along with $85 million in additional funding for workforce development and to promote innovation in this sector. This work builds on the $100 million already available to reduce overtime and holiday inspection fees to help small processing plants keep up with unprecedented demand. This also builds on USDA’s December 2021 announcement of $32 million in pandemic assistance funds to more than 160 meat and poultry processors, helping them get federally inspected so they can reach more customers.
     
  • Issue stronger rules under the Packers & Stockyards Act and new rulemaking on “Product of USA” labeling to protect farmers, ranchers, and consumers, as well as promote an all-of-government approach to strengthening competition. USDA has begun work on three proposed rules to provide greater clarity and strengthen enforcement under the Packers & Stockyards Act, and USDA will also pursue rulemaking to ensure the “Product of USA” label for meat products meets consumer expectations and allows for fair and competitive markets. In February 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and USDA launched a new joint initiative to better coordinate their enforcement efforts, including a new portal—FarmerFairness.gov—for reporting concerns about potential violations of competition laws. And today, the President is announcing an historic agreement between the DOJ and the Federal Maritime Commission to put more cops on the beat to ensure large, foreign ocean carriers cannot take advantage of U.S. farmers, businesses, and consumers.
     
  • Ensuring nutritious food gets to those who need it while opening up new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers. In December 2021, USDA committed $1.5 billion in funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to help schools make direct food purchases and access food purchased by USDA and will also invest in cooperative agreements with state and Tribal governments to purchase foods from local underserved producers. All purchases will support domestic agriculture. Additionally, in December 2021, USDA announced a new Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program that will award up to $400 million for emergency food assistance purchases of domestic local foods. Utilizing American Rescue Plan funds, these purchases will expand local and regional markets and place an emphasis on purchasing from historically underserved farmers and ranchers.
     
  • Ensuring all of agriculture benefits from financial assistance to address the impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance under the previous administration’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The Biden-Harris Administration worked to fill those gaps to help get financial assistance to a broader set of producers, including to underserved communities, small and medium sized producers, and farmers and producers of less traditional crops. USDA announced ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to distribute resources more equitably and committed to directing at least $6 billion to the agricultural producers and sectors that needed assistance the most. This includes re-opening signup for CFAP2, $700 million in grants to provide relief to farm and food workers affected by COVID-19; $700 million to provide relief for small producers, processors, farmers markets and seafood vessels affected by COVID-19; and $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers. As a result, there was a fourfold increase in participation among historically underserved producers in CFAP2 since April 2021.  
     
  • Invest in farmworker training. DOL’s National Farmworker Jobs Program provides grants to community-based organizations and public agencies to enable farmworkers to receive skills training, career services and other critical services like housing assistance to help them obtain, retain and advance in the agricultural sector. DOL awarded $87 million in career services and training grants across the United States and Puerto Rico and $6.2 million in housing grants.
  • Pay farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to be part of the solution to climate change. In February 2022, USDA launched a $1 billion investment in partnerships to support America’s climate-smart farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. The new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity will finance pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart production practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. USDA has also invested $50 million in new 118 partnerships to expand access to conservation assistance for climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The new Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements will fund two-year projects to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are new to farming, low-income, historically underserved, or military veterans.
  • Reward farmers, ranchers, and forest owners for their voluntary conservation efforts. Recognizing the critical role that America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest-owners play in the stewardship of the nation’s lands, waters, and wildlife, the Administration is, as part of the President’s America the Beautiful Initiative, expanding support for voluntary conservation efforts on private lands. USDA, for example, has made changes to its Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to remove barriers to access and provide partners increased flexibility to participate in and benefit from the program.  USDA enrolled 5.3 million new acres in the Conservation Reserve Program by raising rental payment rates and expanding the number of incentivized environmental practices allowed under the program. 
     
  • Support renewable fuel producers and infrastructure. USDA has dedicated $700 million to provide economic relief to biofuel producers and restore renewable fuel markets affected by the pandemic, and committed to $100 million to increase the sales and use of higher blends of bioethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.
     
  • Facilitate U.S. agricultural products in reaching export markets. USDA is working with the Port of Oakland to set up a new “pop-up” site to make it easier for agricultural companies to fill empty shipping containers. The new site, supported by Commodity Credit Corporation funds, will provide access to equipment and provide trucks faster turns without having to wait for in-terminal space. The Port of Oakland is a potential model for other ports experiencing similar issues. The Administration also continues to call on ocean carriers to mitigate disruptions to agricultural shippers by restoring full and fair service to the Port of Oakland. In addition, over $600 million in American Rescue Plan resources have already been announced to strengthen the port workforce and improve facility efficiency at our most critical ports, from California and Florida to Massachusetts and Louisiana.
     
  • Ensure trade rules work for American farmers and ranchers. The United States prevailed in the first dispute settlement panel proceeding under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), bringing the U.S. dairy sector one step closer to realizing the full benefits of the USMCA. The Administration scored another trade policy win when Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Hanoi in August 2021, securing a commitment from the Vietnamese government to reduce tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. This will give U.S. corn, wheat, and pork producers greater access to our seventh-largest agricultural export market, in line with competitors from countries that have free trade agreements with Vietnam. These actions contributed to a record-shattering $177 billion in exports of U.S. farm and food products in 2021.

Biden-Harris Administration Advances Cleaner Industrial Sector to Reduce Emissions and Reinvigorate American Manufacturing

New Pro-Climate, Pro-Worker Actions Create Jobs and Harness the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Federal Purchasing Power, and Trade Policy

The Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions across agencies to support American leadership on clean manufacturing—including low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and the clean concrete needed to upgrade our transportation infrastructure, like New York City’s rebuilt Moynihan Station. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

We publish these fact sheets – long, detailed –  from the White House to counter the disinformation that the Biden Administration “isn’t doing anything”- especially on the issues that matter most to progressives, like climate action, jobs, workers rights and income growth aimed at reducing the enormous wealth gap. In fact, on almost a daily basis, the administration – without the help of a paralyzed, dysfunctional Congress – is accomplishing significant reforms and innovations to benefit the daily lives of Americans.- Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions across agencies to support American leadership on clean manufacturing—including low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum we need for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and the clean concrete we need to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. These actions will create more good-paying jobs and follow on a historic comeback for American factories, with 367,000 manufacturing jobs added during President Biden’s first year in office, the most in nearly 30 years. Further strengthening our industrial base will revitalize local economies, lower prices for consumers, provide more pathways to the middle class through union jobs, and boost American competitiveness in global markets. 
 
The industrial sector is also central to tackling the climate crisis, as it is currently responsible for nearly a third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. By helping manufacturers use clean energy, efficiency upgrades, and other innovative technologies to reduce emissions, the Administration is supporting cleaner industry that can produce the next generation of products and materials for a net-zero economy. These same manufacturing improvements will also protect public health, by reducing releases of air and water pollutants and toxic materials that disproportionately harm low-income households and communities of color.
 
Today’s announcements will clean up industrial processes that have long been challenging sources of pollution; create good-paying, union jobs across American manufacturing; and use domestic procurement and global trade policy to reward clean, American-made materials:

  • The Department of Energy is launching major clean hydrogen initiatives of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will create jobs to expand use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.
     
  • The Council on Environmental Quality and White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy are establishing the first-ever Buy Clean Task Force, which will harness the federal government’s massive purchasing power to support low-carbon materials made in American factories. The General Services Administration and the Department of Transportation are also announcing new efforts to promote use of low-carbon materials in construction projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the State Department and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate are securing corporate purchasing commitments for low-carbon materials and technologies through the First Movers Coalition.
     
  • The Administration is advancing carbon-based trade policies to reward American manufacturers of clean steel and aluminum. Working with the European Union, the Administration is taking steps to align global trade with climate goals, which will keep out dirty products and result in more jobs and lower prices for Americans.
     
  • The Council on Environmental Quality is issuing new guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies that can reduce emissions from heavy industry and help us achieve a net-zero economy. This guidance will support CCUS projects that create union jobs and protect communities from cumulative pollution impacts. Actions by agencies will incorporate environmental justice considerations across CCUS activities. 
     
  • To equitably advance innovation across the entire sector, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching a new Initiative for Interdisciplinary Industrial Decarbonization Research with a focus on benefitting American workers and communities. The Department of Energy is working to establish the Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee (ITIAC) to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders charged with creating a comprehensive strategy to lower the carbon footprint of America’s industrial base.

These actions and continued implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will reduce climate pollution from industrial facilities, while growing the economy and creating jobs in producing clean materials—which customers around the world are increasingly demanding.
 
With a strong foundation in place from today’s announcements, the President’s Build Back Better agenda will further boost clean manufacturing and American competitiveness for decades to come, by supporting low-carbon processes across our industrial base; driving long-term investment in our clean steel, cement, and aluminum industries; and increasing domestic production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and more. Earlier this month, the House passed the America COMPETES Act, which would strengthen supply chains, lower prices, and create more manufacturing jobs, while decarbonizing the industrial sector—including through a $250 million Regional Clean Energy Innovation Program and new programs to decarbonize American steel.

Specifically, today the Administration is announcing new efforts on:
 
Accelerating Clean Hydrogen
 
Clean hydrogen can reduce emissions in many sectors of the economy, and is especially important for hard-to-decarbonize sectors and industrial processes, such as steel manufacturing. But clean hydrogen is not yet in widespread use. Targeted investments can help reduce costs, make new breakthroughs, and create jobs for American engineers, factory workers, construction workers, and others.   
 
To seize those opportunities, today the Department of Energy (DOE) is launching three major new initiatives of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by issuing Requests for Information:

  • $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs: DOE will support development of networks of clean hydrogen producers, potential consumers, and connective infrastructure. These regional hubs will advance the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen, including innovative uses in the industrial sector. DOE will prioritize hubs that can provide significant training and long-term job opportunities for residents of the region.
     
  • $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program: Electrolysis (using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen) allows for clean hydrogen production from carbon pollution-free power sources like wind, solar, and nuclear. This program will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these technologies, by supporting the entire innovation chain—from research, development, and demonstration to commercialization, and deployment.
     
  • $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling RD&D Activities: DOE will also support American manufacturing of clean hydrogen equipment, including projects that improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness and support domestic supply chains for key components, through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing Initiative. DOE is also launching Clean Hydrogen Technology Recycling Research, Development, and Demonstration activities, to fund innovative approaches to increase the reuse and recycling of clean hydrogen technologies.

These Requests for Information will gather feedback from stakeholders and communities on future implementation and priorities for DOE to consider as it moves forward with maximizing the benefits of the historic clean hydrogen programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
 
To further support DOE’s Hydrogen Shot to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 for one kilogram in one decade, last week DOE announced $28 million for R&D and front-end engineering design projects to advance clean hydrogen in industrial uses, as well as the transportation and electricity sectors. DOE’s new H2 Matchmaker resource is helping clean hydrogen producers, end-users, and others find opportunities to develop networks of production, storage, and transportation infrastructure. H2 Matchmaker displays a map using information received through an online form, which stakeholders can use to connect with others nearby.
 
The Administration’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization is bringing together stakeholders from across the private sector, philanthropy, labor, and community-based organizations to catalyze new job opportunities for energy communities, including in clean hydrogen. For example, a December roundtable included discussion of efforts to reduce emissions and create jobs in the South Louisiana industrial corridor. The region is a finalist in the Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. An initial grant will help them continue to plan their clean hydrogen cluster, and they are eligible to apply for a Phase 2 implementation grant.
 
Launching “Buy Clean” Procurement

The federal government is the largest purchaser in the world, with annual purchasing power of over $650 billion. To harness that power to support low-carbon, made in America materials, the Council on Environmental Quality and White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy are establishing the first-ever Buy Clean Task Force. As directed by the President’s December 2021executive order on federal sustainability, the Task Force will promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions and pollutants across their lifecycle—including each stage of the manufacturing process.

Other members include the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the General Services Administration; and the White House Office of Management and Budget. The Task Force, which will continue to expand, is convening to develop recommendations on:

  • Identifying materials, such as steel and concrete, as well as pollutants to prioritize for consideration in Federal procurement and federally funded projects
  • Increasing the transparency of embodied emissions through supplier reporting, including incentives and technical assistance to help domestic manufacturers better report and reduce embodied emissions
  • Launching pilot programs to boost federal procurement of clean construction materials 

With the Buy Clean Task Force now established, the federal government is at the leading edge of using public procurement to increase demand for cleanly manufactured materials, along with states including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and Washington.

Buy Clean efforts are already well underway at the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages a nationwide federal real estate portfolio and oversees approximately $75 billion in annual contracts. Over the past year, GSA has actively engaged stakeholders to learn and adopt best practices for reducing embodied emissions of buildings and materials. Today, GSA is issuing Requests for Information (RFIs) focused on concrete and asphalt. In the coming weeks, GSA will use the RFI responses to shape the launch of national low-carbon concrete and sustainable asphalt standards for Land Port of Entry projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This groundbreaking effort may include requiring Environmental Product Declarations (disclosing lifecycle impacts) and the use of concrete with at least 20% lower global warming potential, whenever available.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing new efforts to support use of low-carbon materials in federal transportation projects. A new pilot program will target key products and services to increase use of Environmental Product Declarations and incentivize acquisition of low-carbon materials. Additionally, DOT is standing up a Department-wide Embodied Carbon Working Group to assess and implement actions to reduce lifecycle emissions of construction materials used in transportation infrastructure.

The Administration is also bringing together large corporate purchasers to Buy Clean. At COP26, President Biden launched the First Movers Coalition, with 34 companies valued at $6 trillion—the biggest demand signal in history for innovation across hard-to-abate sectors, including heavy industry. Led by the State Department through the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the World Economic Forum, and supported by the Departments of Commerce and Energy, the First Movers Coalition is making clean purchasing commitments, beginning with steel, shipping, trucking, and aviation. Today, the Administration is announcing plans to expand the First Movers Coalition to cover four additional sectors in 2022: aluminum, cement, chemicals, and carbon removal.
 
The Administration is also mobilizing investment in the production of clean technologies by the Department of Energy, including the Loan Programs Office, the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, as well as through a partnership between the First Movers Coalition and the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. The First Movers Coalition will recruit additional companies and launch challenge competitions for suppliers to provide the breakthrough technologies that members have committed to purchase.
 
Using Trade Policy to Reward Clean Manufacturing
 
In October, the United States and the European Union announced their commitment to negotiate the world’s first emissions-based sectoral arrangement on steel and aluminum trade by 2024. Following on that announcement, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and senior White House officials are continuing to work with European Union counterparts on this unprecedented effort—never before have two global partners aligned their trade policies to confront the threats of climate change and global market distortions, ensuring that trade works to solve the challenges of the 21st century.
 
Together, the United States and European Union are working to restrict access to their markets for dirty steel and limit access to countries that dump steel in both markets, contributing to worldwide over-supply. The arrangement will be open to any interested country that wishes to join and meets criteria for restoring market orientation and reducing trade in high-emissions steel and aluminum products. It will thus drive investment in green steel and aluminum production in the United States, Europe, and around the world, ensuring a competitive U.S. steel and aluminum industry for decades to come.
 
Responsibly Advancing CCUS Technologies

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) refers to technologies that remove carbon pollution from point sources like smokestacks, or from the ambient air, and permanently store the carbon. In factories, CCUS can reduce emissions from chemical reactions and high-temperature processes that are difficult and expensive to electrify. The best scientific analyses also find that to achieve a net-zero economy, we will need to remove carbon pollution that has already been released in the atmosphere. While CCUS can be an important tool in tackling the climate crisis, the benefits and impacts of potential projects vary significantly—requiring careful planning and oversight to ensure deployment is safe, equitable, and environmentally sound.
 
To help federal agencies advance CCUS responsibly, today the Council on Environmental Quality is issuing CCUS guidance. This guidance, called for in the bipartisan USE IT Act, builds on CEQ’s June 2021 CCUS report and addresses issues including: 

  • Sound and transparent environmental reviews for CCUS projects
  • Incorporation of environmental justice and equity considerations to protect overburdened communities from any direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts
  • Meaningful public engagement and Tribal consultations from early in the process
  • Opportunities to create good-paying, union jobs and training programs
  • Life cycle analyses of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) projects

As agencies prepare to implement more than $12 billion in CCUS investments provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this guidance will promote projects informed by community perspectives and aligned with climate, public health, and economic goals.
 
To further support responsible deployment:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is developing proposed rule revisions to strengthen the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program to improve transparency on CCUS activities. This Program collects and publishes annual greenhouse gas data from large industrial sources, and the proposed updates would add reporting requirements for direct air capture and carbon storage.
  • To train a racially diverse, highly skilled generation of engineers and scientists for carbon management roles, DOE is announcing $5 million for university training and research projects, including $2 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
  • The Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council and its member agencies are working together to facilitate collaborative CCUS project reviews.
  • The Department of the Interior is working to establish safeguards for geologic sequestration on federally managed lands and is developing new regulations for geologic sequestration in the outer continental shelf as required under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Supporting Equitable Innovation Across the Industrial Sector
 
Supporting the industrial sector to achieve net-zero emissions will provide benefits to communities across the country. To ensure that innovations in this sector meet the needs of diverse stakeholders, the Administration is launching a new Initiative for Interdisciplinary Industrial Decarbonization Research. Led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), this Initiative will bring together social scientists, engineering and physical scientists, community groups, industry, government, and other stakeholders. As a first step, OSTP is convening a workshop to get advice from social science thought leaders about the research agenda needed to support rapid, widespread industrial decarbonization. This research will help build the consensus necessary to ensure a just transition to clean industry, with new, good-paying jobs for American workers and health and economic benefits for communities.
 
To identify and catalyze the next generation of breakthroughs, DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office is launching the Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee (ITIAC). This federal advisory committee will bring together a diverse cross-section of the industrial sector to find viable decarbonization pathways that will equitably benefit the industrial workforce and surrounding communities. DOE has also issued a Request for Information on Industrial Decarbonization. This RFI will provide insights on emerging technologies for industry to demonstrate or adopt, including for clean production of iron and steel, cement, chemicals, and food and beverages. The Advanced Manufacturing Office will use this information to shape priorities for reducing industrial emissions and increasing competitiveness.
 
Additionally, DOE is helping manufacturers optimize use of energy and materials while training the workforce of the future through its Industrial Assessment Centers—which provide no-cost energy assessments conducted by university-based teams of engineering students and faculty. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE will expand the Industrial Assessment Centers program by offering specialized training to staff and students and increasing access to innovation and workforce development opportunities, particularly in disadvantaged communities. These actions build on a year of progress—in 2021, DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office invested more than $332 million in industrial technical assistance, education and workforce development, and R&D at every stage of the supply chain.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also partnering with manufacturers through the ENERGY STAR program, which challenges and supports industrial plants in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. EPA is now expanding ENERGY STAR by incorporating carbon intensity metrics for certain industries. Going forward, EPA will continue to increase ENERGY STAR’s focus on ambitious emissions reductions that support net-zero goals across the industrial sector.

Biden-Harris Administration ‘Ensuring Future is Made in America’

Tritium Announces EV Charger Manufacturing Facility in Tennessee; To Produce Up To 30,000 Buy America-Compliant Chargers Per Year, Create 500 Jobs
 

As part of its effort to increase manufacturing while attacking climate change and transitioning the country to a clean-energy economy, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program provides $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors on the Interstate Highway System. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet from the White House details progress the Biden-Harris Administration has made to use a “whole of government” approach to revitalize the United States’ manufacturing base, strengthen critical supply chains, drive down prices, and position American workers and businesses to not just compete but lead the world in the 21st century:

Since his first day in office, President Biden relentlessly focused on an industrial strategy to revitalize our manufacturing base, strengthen critical supply chains, drive down prices, and position U.S. workers and businesses to compete and lead globally in the 21st century. This whole-of-government effort is leading to a historic recovery in domestic manufacturing. During President Biden’s first year in office, the economy added 367,000 manufacturing jobs – the most in nearly 30 years. The U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in nearly 40 years in 2021, and manufacturing as a share of U.S. GDP has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Manufacturing activity has seen a significant expansion every month that President Biden has been in office, consistently above pre-pandemic levels.

The Build America, Buy America Act in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expands on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to ensure that the future is made in America by American workers by strengthening and expanding Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects.

President Biden and Jane Hunter, CEO of Tritium, announced that Tritium will break ground on its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Tennessee. This facility will house six production lines that will produce up to 30,000 Buy America-compliant DC Fast Chargers per year at peak production and create 500 local jobs.

This is the latest of announcements in recent weeks by major companies announcing investments in U.S. manufacturing and jobs, including IntelGeneral Motors, and Boeing, and more than $200 billion in investments in domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, electric vehicles, aircraft, and batteries announced since 2021.

In addition to Tritium, EV charging manufacturers large and small are investing and expanding U.S. operations, driven by the Administration’s economic strategy, Made in America policies, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law:

  • Siemens, which is investing and expanding its U.S. manufacturing operations to support electric vehicle infrastructure in America, will produce 1 million EV chargers by 2025. This investment, spurred by the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is the latest in the company’s strategic plan to meet accelerating electric vehicle charging demand, and expand its U.S. manufacturing capabilities.
     
  • ABB, which currently manufactures Buy America-compliant transit bus chargers in the U.S., will expand its US EV charging manufacturing operations, including Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers, over the coming five years, employing hundreds of Americans and producing thousands of EV chargers each year.
     
  • FreeWire Technologies, based in Oakland, California, currently manufactures Buy America-compliant battery-integrated EV charging equipment, and recently announced groundbreaking on a research, manufacturing, and testing facility in Newark, California. FreeWire currently employs and plans to add more than 200 jobs in electrification and clean energy in and around disadvantaged communities this year.
     
  • Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, a Black- and woman-owned EV charger manufacturer based in Detroit, Michigan, will manufacture Level 2 EV chargers and charging connectors in a new production facility in Detroit beginning this summer. Dunamis’ training and workforce development efforts will focus on underrepresented, economically disadvantaged communities most impacted by greenhouse gas emissions.

The future of the auto industry is electric, and America can own that future by building more here at home, creating good-paying jobs in the process. In August, President Biden set an ambitious target and roadmap to get to 50% of electric vehicle (EV) sale shares in the U.S. by 2030. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included a down payment on the EV future, with more than $7 billion in funding to secure an American EV supply chain, from materials processing to battery manufacturing and recycling, along with $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever nationwide public EV charging network.

This charging network will provide a convenient, reliable, affordable and equitable charging experience, with a focus on serving national highway corridors, rural areas, and underserved communities. It will also accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, fight the climate crisis, and support domestic manufacturing jobs.

Later this week, Department of Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and Department of Energy Secretary Granholm will announce the state allocations and guidance for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, which will provide $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors on the Interstate Highway System.

The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action to prepare for the build-out of the nationwide public EV charging network.

  • In December, Vice President Harris announced the EV Charging Action Plan to outline the steps the Administration is taking to accelerate the EV charging investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
     
  • In December, the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation announced the creation of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which will support and accelerate deployment of the national EV charging network, including by providing technical assistance to states as they develop their comprehensive EV charging plans.
     
  • Last week, the Department of Transportation released an EV Rural Charging Toolkit, a one-stop resource for rural communities to plan and implement EV charging infrastructure projects.

FACT SHEET: The New Small Business Boom Under the Biden-Harris Administration

Market in Mendocino, California. Since day one in office, President Biden has focused on providing America’s small businesses with the tools and resources they need to reopen, rehire, and build back better. To-date, the Biden-Harris Administration has distributed more than $400 billion in critical relief to more than 6 million small businesses © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Since day one in office, President Biden has focused on providing America’s small businesses with the tools and resources they need to reopen, rehire, and build back better. To-date, the Biden-Harris Administration has distributed more than $400 billion in critical relief to more than 6 million small businesses.

President Biden’s efforts have not only helped millions of Main Street businesses keep their lights on and employees on payroll, they have enabled a remarkable rebound in small business activity, with small business demand for labor and inventories near record highs. According to a leading survey of small business owners, the share of small businesses planning to create new jobs in the next three months is higher than it ever was at any point during the previous Administration. Another recent survey of small business owners found that 71 percent are optimistic about their own performance in 2022, up from 63 percent one year ago. The broader economic recovery – one of the fastest on record – has also helped spur a surge in entrepreneurship. Americans are applying to start new businesses at a record rate, up about 30 percent compared to before the pandemic.



The historically high level of new business applications has taken place amidst the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic bottom-up approach to economic recovery. Soon after taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration enacted the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which provided direct relief to families and small businesses and supported the vaccination of more than 200 million Americans. Through the combination of ARP investments and existing emergency relief programs, the Biden-Harris Administration distributed more than $400 billion in critical relief to more than 6 million small businesses. The ARP also provided thousands of entrepreneurs with the personal and financial security to launch their own business.  This support included $1,400 per-person Economic Impact Payments, expanded Child Tax Credit payments of up to $300 per child per month, Affordable Care Act credits and COBRA premium support to ensure health care coverage remained available, and an expansion of the Employer Retention Credit, including expanding eligibility to recent startups. 

Despite the historic progress made to-date, the Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to helping America’s new small businesses grow, create jobs, and provide the essential goods and services our communities depend on. Specifically, the Biden-Harris Administration is:Expanding access to low cost loans and investments. The Treasury Department is working with all states and territories plus 400 Tribal governments on standing up small business lending and investment programs as part of the $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) established through the ARP. and By this summer, the first wave of programs will launch, unlocking billions of dollars in new lending and investment capital for small businesses in big cities and small towns all across America. Small businesses can also continue to access the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) traditional 7a, 504, and microloan programs, which collectively reached record high loan volume in Fiscal Year 2021 by providing $44.8 billion through more than 61,000 loans.

Increasing access to billions of dollars in federal contracts for small businesses. Last year, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its strategy for increasing the share of federal procurement dollars that go to socially disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2025.  President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes a historic procurement effort designed to support small businesses and tackle long standing inequities in the contracting system. Among other things, the legislation directs DOT to attempt to award more than $37 billion in federal contracts to small disadvantaged business contractors.

Helping small businesses hire new employees and reach new customers by providing universal broadband.  Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs and increasingly important for small business owners all across America. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $65 billion in broadband infrastructure, helping ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet and creating new opportunities for small businesses nationwide.

12 States Set New Records on Low Unemployment as National Rate Fell to 3.9% 

Meanwhile, new employment data continues to show that the labor market has improved under President Biden, with 42 states reporting drops in unemployment in December and 12 states reaching record lows. No states experienced a decline in employment. Year-over-year payroll figures have now increased in 48 states and DC. 

“Thanks to the President’s economic plan and his success in getting Americans vaccinated, the unemployment rate nationally dropped to 3.9% – four years earlier than expected, wages are up, and 6.4 million jobs have been created – the most in any one year on record. The President’s economic strategy is working: strengthening our economic growth and creating millions of jobs across the country,” the White House stated.