At the 2023 G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi co-hosted a group of G20 leaders to accelerate investments to scale high-quality infrastructure projects and the development of economic corridors through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI).
The meeting of the leaders from the United States, European Union (EU), France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the World Bank demonstrated the collective urgency to make meaningful progress in narrowing the infrastructure gap in low- and middle-income countries to enable inclusive and sustainable growth and promote economic activity and prosperity.
To further scale this work, the United States will continue to leverage public capital to mobilize private sector investments and collaborate with partners to develop agile and flexible relationships that directly respond to our partners’ needs, laying the groundwork to create more security, prosperity, and opportunities for generations to come.
Across the world, from Asia to Africa to the Western Hemisphere, PGI will continue to build and strengthen coalitions of partners — governments, the private sector, and multilateral development banks — to develop key economic corridors and drive high-quality investments.
President Biden announced a range of new projects to generate economic growth, incentivize new investments, and create quality jobs. They include a landmark India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, as well as a partnership with the European Union to join the United States in supporting the expansion of the Lobito Corridor, and new PGI projects in a range of sectors and across regions.
Developing Key Economic Corridors Launch of the Landmark India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: Earlier this year, President Biden outlined his vision to develop economic corridors by strategically layering transformative investments across multiple sectors in countries to leverage broader effects of boosting economic development, securing supply chains, and bolstering regional connectivity. Today, the leaders of the United States, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union announced a new India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor . The transformative partnership has the potential to usher in a new era of connectivity from Europe to Asia with a railway, linked through ports, connected by the Middle East. This will create novel interconnections to facilitate global trade, expand reliable access to electricity, facilitate clean energy distribution, and strengthen telecommunications links. The founding partners intend to work with international partners and the private sector to:
Connect India to Europe—linked by a railway line and existing ports through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel—that will generate economic growth while incentivizing new investments and the creation of quality jobs;
Connect two continents to commercial hubs and facilitate the development and export of clean energy;
Support existing trade and manufacturing synergies and strengthen food security and supply chains; and
Link energy grids and telecommunication lines through undersea cables to expand reliable access to electricity, enabling innovation of advanced clean energy technology and connect communities to secure and stable Internet.
Further development of the Lobito Corridor: Since President Biden announced investments to develop the Lobito Corridor in May 2023, the United States and its partners are advancing efforts to support a transparent and developed critical minerals sector that can both diversify the global electric vehicle supply chain and benefit local economies. The Corridor serves as an important economic link connecting both the continent and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia through the Lobito port in Angola. Once transport infrastructure connecting all three countries is fully operational, the Corridor aims to enhance export possibilities, boost the regional circulation of goods, and promote the mobility of citizens. Specific new announcements include:
Today, the European Union officially teamed up with the United States to support the development of the Corridor, including supporting the African Governments in launching feasibility studies for the construction of a new greenfield rail line expansion from eastern Angola through northern Zambia.
Together, the United States and the European Union intend to explore cooperation in the areas of transport infrastructure investments; measures to facilitate trade, economic development and transit; and support to related sectors to fuel inclusive and sustainable economic growth and capital investment in Angola, Zambia and Democratic Republic of the Congo in the longer term. Specifically, this includes developing clean energy projects to increase the power supply to surrounding communities, supporting diversified investment in critical minerals and clean energy supply chains, extending digital access, growing agriculture value chains to enhance local food production for the region’s expanding population and to address global food insecurity, as well as augmenting local workforce training, support for small and medium enterprises and economic diversification.
Driving High Quality Transformative Investments Around the World This G20 event builds on recent PGI investment announcements by President Biden and Vice President Harris, including at the ASEAN Summit and visit to Indonesia, the bilateral meeting with G20 host, India, and travel to Vietnam. In addition to economic corridors, PGI is driving high quality transformative investments around the world across PGI target sectors, including:
Greater Economic Cooperation with India:
Renewable Energy Generation: U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC)’s Board of Directors approved the provision of up to $425 million in financing to TP Solar Limited, a subsidiary of The Tata Power Company Limited, to build and operate a solar photovoltaic cell and module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. Pending congressional notification, this investment will support India’s ambitious program to increase renewable energy generation while developing domestic industry to take advantage of the global clean energy transition. DFC’s support of TP Solar will build on previous support for India’s leadership in clean energy and contributes to a more diverse global supply chain for clean energy technology.
Renewable Infrastructure Fund: India and the United States are also advancing the creation of investment platforms to lower the cost of capital and accelerate the deployment of greenfield renewable energy, battery storage and emerging green technology projects in India. Towards this end, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and the DFC exchanged letters of intent to each provide up to $500 million to anchor a renewable infrastructure investment fund.
Diversified Supply Chain for E-Mobility: The United States and India committed to contribute public finance and mobilize philanthropic finance to execute a payment security mechanism that will expand electric mobility in India by accelerating the procurement and deployment of 10,000 electric buses in India, providing extensive climate benefits and diversifying the global e-mobility supply chain.
Health Manufacturing in India and Making Insulin Accessible Globally: DFC approved an up to $50 million loan to GeneSys Biologics Private Limited (“GeneSys”) to support its construction of a manufacturing facility in Telengana, India, to scale its production of insulin biosimilars by 10X, with the expectation that the biosimilars will be reviewed for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as equivalent regulators in India and other countries. GeneSys will do drug substance manufacturing in Telangana and has partnered with Civica Rx to do fill-and-finish drug product manufacturing in Virginia. This effort will help to making insulin accessible and affordable in India, the United States, and around the world. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has provided technical support throughout the development of the project.
5G Open RAN: The United States and India share a vision of creating secure and trusted telecommunications, resilient supply chains, and enabling global digital inclusion. Further collaboration includes establishing two joint Task Forces on advanced telecommunications, focused on Open RAN and research and development in 5G/6G technologies. Public-private cooperation between vendors and operators will be led by India’s Bharat 6G Alliance and the U.S. Next G Alliance. Both countries are partnering on Open RAN field trials and rollouts, including scaled deployments, with operators and vendors of both markets.
Modern Ports in El Salvador: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) intends to provide a technical assistance grant of $900,000 to El Salvador’s national ports commission to modernize the container terminal at the Port of Acajutla. USTDA’s technical assistance aims to promote operational efficiency, reliability, and safety at El Salvador’s busiest seaport and to provide recommendations for deploying green port and digital technologies to reduce the port’s energy consumption, and decrease air pollution from maritime vessels.
Supply Chains in Mozambique: DFC’s Board of Directors approved the provision of up to $150 million in financing to Twigg Exploration and Mining to fund investments in the company’s graphite mining and processing operation in Balama, Mozambique. Pending congressional notification, this investment will increase production and diversify the global supply chain for graphite which is a critical mineral for a range of clean energy and advanced technology products. DFC’s support will also lead to job creation and investment in local infrastructure while ensuring high environmental and social standards that are essential for responsible mining.
Transportation Systems in the Philippines: USTDA intends to provide grant funding towards a feasibility study to support the Philippines’ Department of Transportation in assessing the viability of developing an expanded vessel traffic management system in the Philippines. As a nation comprised of over 7,000 islands, over 800 commercial ports, and growing vessel traffic activity, the Philippines aims to expand its vessel traffic management system capabilities to cover major ports and navigational paths. The feasibility study will assess the viability of potential implementation at 8 to 10 locations in the Philippines and develop the technical architecture and infrastructure requirements for each location.
Bridge the Gender Digital Divide: During her March 2023 trip to Africa, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the launch of the Women in the Digital Economy Fund (Wi-DEF) by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a combined $60 million commitment. Since then, that commitment has leveraged further investment and led to the launch of the Women in the Digital Economy Initiative. This effort will advance digital access and affordability; develop relevant products and tools; provide digital literacy and skills training; promote online safety and security; and invest in sex-disaggregated data and research.
Since the launch of WiDEF, partners have pledged an additional $11.6 million – $10 million from Microsoft and $1.6 million from the Government of the Republic of Korea.
Building off of the success of this Fund, USAID is launching the Women in the Digital Economy Initiative which convenes new partners who have pledged over $515 million collectively to help close the gender digital divide. Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have all pledged their support. In addition, private sector and philanthropic organizations have made contributions, including Amazon Web Services, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE, Citi, G20 EMPOWER India Chapter, the Global Digital Inclusion Partnership, GSMA, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Microsoft Corporation, myAgro, Reliance Foundation, Viasat, Visa Foundation, and Visa Inc.
When President Biden took office, he committed to restore the United States’ leadership role in the world, rebuild our relationships abroad, and champion an economic agenda at home and abroad to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth for American families—and families everywhere. This week, at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, President Biden continued to deliver on those commitments.
Leading by example and working with partners around the world, the United States and the G20 delivered for developing countries, for our shared planet, and for an inclusive and responsible digital transformation. At a moment when the global economy is suffering from the overlapping shocks of the climate crisis, fragility, and conflict—including the immense suffering unleashed by Russia’s war in Ukraine—this year’s Summit proved that the G20 can still drive solutions to our most pressing issues.
The United States is committed to the G20 and to building on the progress made in India’s G20 Presidency, starting with Brazil’s Presidency in 2024 and South Africa’s Presidency in 2025. In a sign of the President’s steadfast commitment to the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, the United States will host the G20 in 2026. As President Biden called for last year at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, the United States is also pleased to have supported and now welcome the African Union as a permanent member of the G20, a reflection of both the G20’s vitality and the important role of Africa in the global economy.
Delivering for Developing Countries
At the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, compounding crises have resulted in a stalling or reversal of development gains. In New Delhi, President Biden and other G20 leaders committed to implement the G20 2023 Action Plan to Accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United States remains committed to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, both at home and around the world.
At home, President Biden is rebuilding the American economy from the bottom up and middle out and making historic investments in our infrastructure, our people, and our climate. These policies have enabled the United States to have the strongest recovery of any major economy. As the world’s largest bilateral donor of official development assistance, the United States is working to help develop countries support their development priorities in areas like inclusive growth, infrastructure, education, health and health security, and resilient and sustainable food systems.
Recognizing that public funding alone is not enough, President Biden is championing an ambitious agenda to mobilize significant additional financing for development from all sources—public and private, domestic and international. At the G20, he delivered key elements of that agenda.
Delivering a better, bigger, more effective World Bank. The United States is championing a major effort to fundamentally reshape the multilateral development banks to meet 21st century challenges. Over the last year, the World Bank, with the backing of the G20, has made meaningful progress in unlocking new financing capacity and advancing operational reforms. Under Ajay Banga’s leadership, the World Bank is set to play a transformative role in addressing global challenges. Last month, President Biden asked Congress for funds to unlock more than $25 billion in World Bank Group concessional financing. In New Delhi, he rallied G20 partners to agree to collectively mobilize more headroom and concessional finance to boost the World Bank’s capacity to support low- and middle-income countries. This initiative will make the Bank a better and bigger institution able to provide resources at the scale and speed needed to tackle global challenges and address the urgent needs of the poorest countries.
Supporting countries that fall into economic crisis. President Biden called on the G20 as leaders in the global economy to provide meaningful debt relief so that low- and middle-income countries can regain their footing as they seek to recover from compounding economic shocks in the last few years, and invest in critical development needs. Leaders in New Delhi committed to redouble efforts to resolve ongoing debt distress cases—like Ghana and Sri Lanka. President Biden made it clear that the United States expects meaningful progress by the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in October.
Make financing more sustainable. President Biden pressed leaders to think beyond our current frameworks to provide new solutions to help translate unsustainable debt into transformative investments. The U.S. Development Finance Corporation has provided such financing to facilitate more than $1 billion in debt for nature swaps in the Western Hemisphere and Africa—unlocking funds for countries to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises and to invest in other critical development needs. At the G20, President Biden also pressed all creditors—including the private sector and multilateral development banks—to offer climate resilient debt clauses in their lending. The U.S. Export Import Bank is preparing to do so in select bilateral lending, in line with its governance framework.
Developing transformative economic corridors and scaling high-quality investments through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI). At an event co-hosted by President Biden and Prime Minister Modi, President Biden and partners announced a landmark India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor that will usher a new era of connectivity from Europe to Asia, facilitating global trade, as well as cooperation on energy and digital connectivity. President Biden also announced a new partnership with the European Union to expand investments in the Lobito Corridor. The President called on partners to deploy public capital to strategically leverage the expertise and financing of the private sector to help secure and diversify 21st century energy supply chains, expand digital connectivity, increase electricity access, bolster food security, and strengthen health systems.
Working for a Just Peace in Ukraine
President Biden is engaging with countries around the world in pressing for a just peace in Ukraine based on sovereignty and territorial integrity. One and a half years after Russia’s illegal and unjustified aggression against Ukraine, G20 leaders joined President Biden in welcoming efforts to secure “a just peace that upholds all the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter.” G20 leaders emphasized that countries must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against any state’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. G20 leaders also united in highlighting the human suffering and severe economic impacts of the war against Ukraine. The statement highlighted that major economies from around the world – including Brazil, India, South Africa – are united in the need for Russia to uphold international law including territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Delivering on Food Security
Since the beginning of his Administration, President Biden has made global food security a priority and galvanized collective action to respond to the global food crisis. The United States has committed more than $15.2 billion in critical humanitarian assistance and medium- to long-term food security investments around the world. These investments have helped countries address acute needs and avert famine, as well as diversify their supply chains. At the G20, President Biden championed an agenda focused on mitigating the acute food crises the world is facing today, as well as working together with G20 countries to mitigate against future shocks.
Addressing the food security crisis exacerbated by Russia’s unlawful war in Ukraine. Russia has intensified its attack on global food security with its July decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI)—which was responsible for nearly 33 million tons of food exports, about two-thirds of which went directly to middle- and lower-income countries—and its attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure to prevent Ukrainian grain shipments from getting to those who need it most. The United States continues to lead the charge to mitigate the impact of Russia’s invasion on world food security and to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable populations in the world. In addition to the more than $15.2 billion that the United States has provided since 2021 to address famine and food insecurity, the Biden-Harris Administration and G7 leaders have rallied the world to contribute an additional over $4.5 billion for acute and medium to long term food security assistance, half of which came from the United States. At the G20, President Biden was unequivocal in calling on Russia to stop weaponizing food, which is causing immense human suffering around the world. G20 leaders united to call for the full, timely and effective implementation of the BSGI.
Building more resilient food systems to mitigate against future food shocks. Collective G20 action is necessary to help address global food, climate, and supply chain shocks, prevent hunger and build more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient agriculture and food systems. In New Delhi, President Biden joined G20 leaders in committing to keep food supply chains and trade open, including for agricultural inputs like fertilizer and seeds; adopt and expand climate-smart agricultural practices; invest in critical agricultural infrastructure; promote innovative agricultural research and innovation; and use digital technology to help lower production and transportation costs and diversify access to new global food markets.
Delivering on Global Health Challenges
The United States is the world’s largest bilateral donor for global health and is committed to working alongside the G20 to build a safer, more equitable future. This includes working together to invest in health equity through vaccine distribution, expanding and improving access to health systems, and facilitating the availability of quality services to historically marginalized groups. It also includes strengthening health systems and institutions; combatting infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, and accelerating efforts towards universal health coverage.
Improving pandemic preparedness and response. Last year, President Biden galvanized the world to help launch a new Pandemic Fund to fill critical gaps in pandemic preparedness and global health security, committing $450 million and unlocking an additional $1 billion in initial contributions from nearly two dozen countries and philanthropies. This year, the Pandemic Fund is a reality, and recently concluded its first call for proposals, approving $338 million in grants to 37 countries across 6 regions to strengthen disease surveillance and early warning systems and laboratories. In New Delhi, President Biden made it clear that the G20 cannot lose its focus on improving pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response. To this end, he has committed an additional $250 million in planned funds to the Pandemic Fund.
Building stronger health systems. As we emerge from the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries’ health systems are struggling to restore access to basic services, like routine childhood immunization and maternal health care. To help the world get back on track, President Biden launched the Global Health Worker Initiative in 2022, recognizing that a health workforce that is supported, equipped, and protected is necessary to reclaim lost ground from the pandemic and prepare for future health threats. President Biden urged G20 leaders to commit to reverse the first global decline in life expectancy in more than seven decades. G20 leaders committed to work together to strengthen primary health care and restore essential health services to better than pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2025.
Tackling the overdose crisis: G20 leaders came together for the first time to elevate counternarcotics challenges, and synthetic drugs in particular, as a G20 priority. Leaders recognized the shared public health threats posed by synthetic drugs and committed to enhanced information sharing and capacity building to address these challenges, advancing the critical actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to address the overdose crisis at home.
Delivering for Our Planet
Building a clean energy economy here at home is one of President Biden’s top priorities. But climate change is an issue that requires global action, and the G20 is collectively responsible for about 80 percent of global emissions. In New Delhi, President Biden secured commitments to ensure the G20 continues to set its collective ambition high to address the climate crisis.
Tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030. At home, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to increase investments in clean energy technologies. Outside estimates report that the IRA has already created more than 170,000 jobs and will create 1.5 million over the next decade. And the IRA will expand clean energy supply, speed global adoption, and drive down technology costs by as much as 25 percent globally. I In New Delhi, President Biden and G20 leaders committed to pursue efforts to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, encouraging more countries to follow the IRA playbook of investing in clean energy manufacturing and deployment, creating jobs, and fighting climate change.
Recognizing the need to peak global emissions by 2025. President Biden successfully urged the G20 to join together in acknowledging, for the first time, the need to peak global emissions by no later than 2025, and in recognizing the to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent by 2030, and 60 percent by 2035, relative to 2019 levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that these actions are critical to achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions/carbon neutrality by or around mid-century and limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Encouraging countries to incorporate economy-wide targets covering all greenhouse gases into their nationally determined contributions. G20 nations have the ability to reduce their emissions in a way that meaningfully supports the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and its temperature goals. With President Biden’s leadership, G20 countries for the first time urged all countries to include economy-wide targets covering all greenhouse gases in upcoming cycles for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Launching the Global Biofuels Alliance. Sustainable biofuels are critical to facilitating net zero by 2050. Advanced biofuels can be sustainably produced from abundant organic material—and supplied by reliable trading partners like the United States. In New Delhi, the G20 Presidency launched the Global Biofuels Alliance with the United States as a founding member along with India, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Argentina, and South Africa. This new Alliance will bring countries together to expand and create new markets for sustainable biofuels.
Delivering an Inclusive and Responsible Digital Transformation
The digital transformations underway offer the potential to improve the lives of our citizens if they are harnessed responsibly and in a way that drives broadly shared growth. In order to realize the benefits of these technologies, President Biden believes it is necessary to address the barriers to inclusive access and to shape regulatory and governance approaches to maximize their benefits while mitigating their risks. This is the agenda that he championed in New Delhi.
Harnessing AI responsibly, for good and for all. President Biden championed an approach to AI that includes a commitment to responsible AI development, deployment, and use, to leverage AI to solve pressing challenges while protecting people’s rights and safety.
Cutting the digital gender divide in half by 2030. Globally, approximately 260 million more men than women were using the internet in 2022—a divide that undermines women’s full participation in the 21st century economy. President Biden successfully secured a commitment from G20 leaders to halve the digital gender gap by 2030. To help meet this commitment, the United States announced a Women in the Digital Economy Initiative, convening partners from government, the private sector, and civil society to accelerate efforts to close the gender digital divide.
Improving access to digital services to boost sustainable and inclusive growth. President Biden joined other G20 leaders in taking steps towards unlocking the benefits of digital public infrastructure (DPI), stressing the importance of prioritizing secure, inclusive, and accountable approaches to DPI, built and leveraged by both the public and private sectors, that respect human rights and protect personal data, privacy, and intellectual property rights.
New actions announced this week empower workers to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up—a core pillar of Bidenomics
President Biden promised to be the most pro-worker and pro-union President in American history, and he has kept that promise. Support for unions is at its highest level in more than half a century, inflation-adjusted income is up 3.5% since the President took office, and the largest wage gains over the last two years have gone to the lowest-paid workers. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, and a greater share of working-age people have a job today than at any other time in more than two decades. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, all workers—including those who are often left behind in recoveries—are experiencing record-low unemployment rates.
Under Bidenomics, America is seeing a historic level of public and private investment in manufacturing and new industries that will create good-paying jobs that Americans can raise a family on and build a community around. The President continues to fight to ensure all Americans get fair pay for a hard day’s work and have a free and fair choice to join a union.
In advance of Labor Day, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions this week to empower workers by investing in America’s clean energy workforce, establishing pathways into high-paying and union jobs, demonstrating the benefits of unions, and extending critical wage protections. These actions include:
Ensuring Clean Energy Investments Support High-Quality and Union Jobs
Creating good-paying jobs in clean energy. The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service published a historic proposed rule to support good-paying jobs and workforce development made possible by incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Many of the IRA’s clean energy deployment tax incentives are increased by five times if taxpayers pay workers prevailing wages and use Registered Apprentices. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) provides clarity about how these incentives work, including penalty and correction provisions for those who fail to meet the requirements, and promotes worker-centric practices. The NPRM also encourages the use of qualifying Project Labor Agreements, which guarantee workers good-paying jobs, help construction contractors finish complex projects on time and on budget, and can establish equitable pathways into construction careers.
Supporting a fair and just electric vehicle transition. The Department of Energy opened applications for the $2 billion Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grants program, created by the IRA. The program will provide funding for auto manufacturers transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles and components to electric vehicles and components. In line with the President’s call for a transition that protects workers, this program will prioritize applications from facilities that are at risk of closing or recently closed and reward applicants that retain existing workers, have strong labor partnerships, pay high wages, and convert facilities while remaining in the same community. The Department of Energy Loan Programs Office is also facilitating access to $10 billion in capital for auto factory conversions. The Office plans to prioritize the review of applications for projects in locations with a long history of auto manufacturing and demonstrate strong workforce practices and labor standards.
Strengthening electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chains and supporting high-quality jobs, including for auto workers. The Department of Energy is releasing a second-round Notice of Intent for $3.5 billion for the Battery Manufacturing grant programs under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program will help expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the nation’s grid, as well as for battery materials and components currently imported from other countries. This Notice of Intent outlines the direction for the next phase of the program, which will support communities with experienced auto workers and a history of producing vehicles, applicants with strong workforce practices, and applicants who plan to create high-quality jobs.
Demonstrating the Union Advantage
Conducting analysis on how unions benefit the economy. The Department of the Treasury released a first-of-its-kind report that finds that unions help grow the economy by reducing inequality, raising incomes, increasing savings (including retirement savings), and broadening homeownership. According to the report, which was released as part of the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris, union members make higher wages and are more likely to earn critical benefits like retirement, health care, child care, life insurance, and sick leave. The report also finds that all workers—even non-union workers and workers who have been laid off—experience gains from greater unionization.
Extending Overtime Protections
Proposing new rules that would provide millions of workers with overtime protections. The Department of Labor released a proposed rule to increase the overtime salary threshold from under $36,000 per year to roughly $55,000 per year. Under this proposal, more salaried employees making less than $55,000 per year and working more than 40 hours a week would receive at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for the overtime hours they work. The proposed rule would extend overtime pay to as many as 3.6 million hardworking Americans.
These actions build on historic support for workers and unions since Day One of the Biden-Harris Administration, including:
Raising wages for construction workers. In August, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule updating the Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage standards for the first time in nearly 40 years. The rule affects more than one million workers constructing $200 billion in federally funded or assisted projects, who will receive higher wages over time. Nearly all of the significant construction programs contained in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act require or provide strong incentives for the use of Davis-Bacon prevailing wages—which ensures even more workers will benefit from DOL’s new rule.
Protecting workers’ pay. The Biden-Harris Administration has recovered more than $690 million for more than 440,000 low-paid workers across the nation. The Administration enforces laws that protect these workers from being victims of wage theft and exploitation when they were not paid minimum wages or hard-earned overtime wages, were denied their tips, or were misclassified as independent contractors.
Supporting Workers’ Right to Organize
Empowering workers through education. Recently, the Department of Labor relaunched the Worker Organizing Resource and Knowledge (WORK) Center. The WORK Center is the federal government’s premiere online resource center providing information about labor unions and their importance to workers and communities. While more than half of non-union workers say they want a union, only about 10 percent of these workers say they know how to form one. The WORK Center meets the needs of workers who are seeking more information about their labor rights and lack experience in organizing.
Disclosing when federal contractors hire union avoidance advisors. In July, the Department of Labor published a final regulation updating the LM-10 form, a form that employers must file disclosing whether they pay consultants to persuade workers concerning their organizing and collective bargaining rights or to surveil activities of employees and unions involved in labor disputes. The rule newly requires private-sector employers to indicate whether they are federal contractors or subcontractors, promoting transparency for workers and the federal government into whether contractors hire anti-union consultants.
Expanding Workforce Development
Making historic investment in Registered Apprenticeships. All Americans should have a pathway to good-paying jobs, which is why the Biden-Harris Administration invested a historic $285 million in Registered Apprenticeships in fiscal year (FY) 2023 and, in July, awarded more than $65 million in grants to 45 states to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeships in high-demand industries. The Administration also launched the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Initiative to amplify the Registered Apprenticeship model with private- and public-sector employers.
Launching Investing in America Workforce Hubs.In May, the Biden-Harris Administration launched new initiatives to train and connect more workers to the good-paying jobs—including union jobs—created by the President’s Investing in America investments. Through the Workforce Hubs Initiative, the Administration is partnering with local officials, employers, unions, community colleges, and other stakeholders to ensure a diverse and skilled workforce is ready to meet the demand for labor driven by historic public and private investments in five Hubs—Phoenix, Columbus, Baltimore, Augusta, and Pittsburgh.
Fostering Equal Employment Opportunities
Increasing access to good construction jobs for underrepresented workers. In March, the Department of Labor launched the Mega Construction Project (Megaproject) Program, initially designating as Megaprojects 12 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded projects across the country. The Megaprojects Program provides free, continuous, on-the-ground assistance to help construction project owners, contractors, and unions ensure equal employment opportunities for underrepresented workers. Also in March, the Department of Labor announced a $20 million cooperative agreement with TradesFutures for the Scaling Apprenticeship Readiness Across the Building Trades Initiative, in partnership with the National Urban League. This first-of-its-kind initiative aims to substantially increase the number of participants from underrepresented populations and underserved communities in Registered Apprenticeship programs in the construction industry.
Expanding access to child care and long-term care. In April, President Biden issued an Executive Order with more than 50 actions to increase access to high-quality care and better support caregivers. The Executive Order directs all cabinet-level agencies with federal job-creation funds—including from his Investing in America agenda—to consider requiring or encouraging grantees to use funds for supportive services, including child care and long-term care, to the maximum extent allowable. This action will help ensure underserved workers can enroll in, remain in, and complete training, and transition to good jobs, including union jobs. This builds on the first-of-its-kind requirement that employers seeking significant federal funds under the CHIPS and Science Act provide a concrete plan to help their employees access affordable child care, enabling more parents from local communities to access good-paying jobs.
In his Labor Day Proclamation, President Biden declared:
American workers are the best in the world, but over the past few decades, too many leaders embraced an economic theory that failed them and our unions. It is called trickle-down economics. It is the belief that we should cut taxes for the wealthy and big corporations and wait for the benefits to trickle down to workers and American families. It is a belief that we should shrink public investment in infrastructure and public education. It is a tax policy that encourages corporations to move operations and jobs overseas.
Trickle-down policies slashed investments in people and communities and allowed big corporations to amass more power while limiting the ability of workers to join unions. It did not matter where companies made things, as long as it helped their bottom line — even if it meant losing the very workers who had helped them succeed. Companies cut staff, shipped good jobs overseas, prioritized cheap labor, and silenced workers’ voices. As a result, factories and businesses across the country shut down, entire communities were hollowed out, and for many working people, a path to better their circumstances would never be within reach. People working as hard as ever could not get ahead because it was harder to buy a home, pay for a college education, start a business, and retire with dignity. The moment we embraced trickle-down economics, we walked away from who we are and from the way our Nation was built.
I knew our Nation could not continue with those same failed policies, so I came into office determined to build an economy that grows from the middle out and bottom up, not the top down. And it is working. We have added over 13 million jobs, including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. We added more jobs in my first two years than any President in a single 4-year term because we are investing in America and Americans again.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I signed is a once-in-a-generation investment that puts Americans to work rebuilding our Nation’s infrastructure using American-made materials. We have announced nearly 37,000 new projects since we passed the bill. For me, it was a top priority that the overwhelming majority of these investments be covered by Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements to make sure the hundreds of thousands of jobs we create are good-paying jobs.
We passed the CHIPS and Science Act to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to American shores and ensure that the United States leads the world in innovation. It has attracted over $166 billion in investment and ignited a semiconductor manufacturing boom. Our Inflation Reduction Act helps build the clean energy industries of the future here at home while incentivizing companies to adopt strong labor standards. Our American Rescue Plan includes funding to protect over two million union workers, retirees, and their families from benefit cuts to the pensions they have earned. All of these investments mean good-paying jobs that American workers can raise their families on, many of which do not require a 4-year college degree.
By investing more in Registered Apprenticeships and in career and technical education programs than any previous administration, we are ensuring that every American — from every region and background — can access the training and education needed to participate in our Nation’s economic prosperity. My Administration is working to crack down on non-compete agreements that keep 30 million Americans from taking new jobs with higher wages in their field. We are taking action to protect workers’ health and safety from hazards they may be exposed to on the job, such as silica dust and other toxic materials. And my Administration is empowering American workers and giving working families some breathing room by bringing the cost of prescription drugs and health care down for millions of Americans.
I promised to be the most pro-union President in history, and I firmly believe that every worker in America should have the free and fair choice to join a union or organize and bargain collectively with their employer without coercion or intimidation. That is because when organized labor wins, our Nation wins. My Administration will continue to support and encourage labor unions so that workers have a seat at the decision-making table, an opportunity to speak truth to power, and the support to fight for the dignity and respect they deserve.
On Labor Day, we stand in solidarity with all the workers who lift our Nation to new heights and all the labor unions who give all workers power and voice. May we continue working to restore the American Dream for every person willing to work hard in our Nation by embracing what has always been the foundation of our country’s success: investing in America and American workers.
Companies have announced $166 billion in investments in semiconductors and electronics in the one year since President Biden signed CHIPS into law
One year ago, President Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act (CHIPS), which makes a nearly $53 billion investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development, and workforce. The law also creates a 25 percent tax credit for capital investments in semiconductor manufacturing, and is helping to keep America at the forefront of innovation and technological development. Semiconductors were invented in the United States, but today we produce only about 10 percent of global supply—and none of the most advanced chips. Similarly, investments in research and development have fallen to less than 1 percent of GDP from 2 percent in the mid-1960s at the peak of the space race. The CHIPS and Science Act aims to change this by driving American competitiveness, making American supply chains more resilient, and supporting our national security and access to key technologies.
In the one year since CHIPS was signed into law, companies have announced over $166 billion in manufacturing in semiconductors and electronics, and at least 50 community colleges in 19 states have announced new or expanded programming to help American workers access good-paying jobs in the semiconductor industry. In total, since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, companies have announced over $231 billion in commitments in semiconductor and electronics investments in the United States. This week alone, the Department of Commerce announced the first round of grants under CHIPS to support the development of open and interoperable wireless networks, and the National Science Foundation and Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Defense announced progress toward establishing the National Semiconductor Technology Center, which will help advance America’s leadership in semiconductor research and development.
“One year ago today, I signed into law the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act to revitalize American leadership in semiconductors, strengthen our supply chains, protect our national security, and advance American competitiveness,” President Biden stated. “America invented semiconductors – and today, they power everything from cell phones to cars to refrigerators. But over time, the United States went from producing nearly 40% of the world’s chips to just over 10%, making our economy vulnerable to global supply chain disruptions.
“The CHIPS and Science Act aims to change that.
“In the year since I signed this legislation into law, companies have announced over $166 billion to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States. These investments are creating jobs and opportunities in communities across the country – from Ohio to Arizona, Texas and New York. And, in the last year alone, at least 50 community colleges have announced new or expanded programs to help American workers access good-paying jobs in the semiconductor industry.
“The CHIPS and Science Act is a key part of my Bidenomics agenda to bring investment and opportunity to every corner of the country. Over the coming months, my Administration will continue to implement this historic law, make sure American union workers, small businesses, and families benefit from investments spurred by the CHIPS and Science Act, and make America once again a leader in semiconductor manufacturing and less dependent on other countries for our electronics or clean energy supply chains.”
One Year of Progress on Semiconductor Manufacturing and Innovation
Over the past year, agencies across the federal government have been developing and executing on programs established under CHIPS to encourage domestic semiconductor manufacturing, invest in research and development, and support supply chain resilience and workforce development. Key milestones in the Administration’s implementation of CHIPS include:
Supporting U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing
The Department of Commerce launched the first funding opportunity for the $39 billion in semiconductor manufacturing incentives provided in the Act just six months after CHIPS was passed. This funding opportunity covers funding for projects to construct, expand, or modernize facilities producing semiconductors and for projects that are making large investments in facilities to produce semiconductor materials and manufacturing equipment. As the Department assesses applications, economic and national security considerations will be key factors and the program will, among other objectives, aim to provide a supply of secure, national-security relevant semiconductors.
Already, the Department of Commerce has received more than 460 statements of interest from companies for projects across 42 states interested in receiving CHIPS funding to invest across the semiconductor value chain from manufacturing to supply chains to commercial R&D.
The Department of Commerce has also stood up CHIPS for America, a team of more than 140 people working to support implementation of all aspects of the CHIPS incentives program.
The Department of the Treasury released a proposed rule in March 2023 to provide guidance on the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit, a 25% investment tax credit for companies engaged in semiconductor manufacturing and producing semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The Department of the Treasury also released a proposed rule in June 2023 to allow companies to receive the full amount of the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit as a direct payment from the Internal Revenue Service.
The Department of the Treasury released a proposed rule in March 2023 to provide guidance on implementing the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit to assist companies engaged in semiconductor manufacturing and producing semiconductor manufacturing equipment with a 25% tax credit.
Protecting National Security and Working with Allies and Partners
The Department of Commerce issued a proposed rule in March 2023 to implement the national security guardrails laid out in CHIPS. These guardrails are intended to prevent technology and innovation funded by the program from being misused by foreign countries of concern. The Department of the Treasury’s proposed rule in March 2023 implemented parallel guardrails for the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit.
The Department of State announced in March 2023 its plans for implementing the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund to support semiconductor supply chain security and diversification, as well as adoption of trustworthy and secure telecommunications networks. The State Department has already announced partnerships with Costa Rica, Panama, and the OECD to explore opportunities to collaborate on the global semiconductor supply chain.
The Department of Defense and Department of Commerce signed an agreement to expand their collaboration to make sure that CHIPS investments will position the United States to manufacture semiconductors essential to national security and defense programs.
As it implements CHIPS, the Department of Commerce has been in close touch with a number of partners and allies including the Republic of Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, India, and the European Union. The United States is engaging with partners and allies to coordinate government incentive programs, build resilient cross-border semiconductor supply chains, promote knowledge exchange and collaboration in developing next-generation technologies, and implement safeguards to protect national security.
Creating Jobs and Workforce Pipelines for American Workers
The White House announced an initial set of five Workforce Hubs to create pipelines for Americans to access good-paying jobs in the semiconductor industry and other industries seeing an increase in investments driven by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – including CHIPS, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The White House also announced a national Workforce Sprint focused on creating pipelines into advanced manufacturing jobs, including in the semiconductor industry.
At least 50 community colleges have already announced new or expanded semiconductor workforce programs. In July, the White House launched its first Workforce Hub in Columbus, Ohio, where Columbus State Community College announced a new partnership with Intel which will create a new semiconductor technician credentialing course, available this fall.
The National Science Foundation is investing in the American semiconductor workforce through new initiatives focused on the manufacturing workforce, supporting researchers, and curriculum development. This includes partnerships with major semiconductor and technology companies.
According to Handshake, student applications to full-time jobs posted by semiconductor companies were up 79% in 2022-2023, compared to just 19% for other industries.
Investing in Innovation
The Department of Commerce is partnering with the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation to establish the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), a critical part of the CHIPS research and development program that will support U.S. leadership in semiconductor innovation, cut down on the time and cost of commercializing new technologies, and develop the semiconductor workforce. The Department of Commerce has also outlined its strategy for the NSTC with respect to extending U.S. leadership in semiconductor innovation, reducing time to commercialization, and building a strong microelectronics workforce.
The Department of Commerce is also continuing to work on other parts of its $11 billion R&D funding including the metrology program, the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, and up to three new Manufacturing USA Institutes.
The Department of Defense released a Request for Solutions for its Microelectronics Commons R&D program in December 2022. This program will support hardware prototyping, the transition of new technologies from lab-to-fab, and workforce training. Source selection is currently underway.
Supporting Regional Economic Development and Innovation
The Department of Commerce released a funding opportunity in May 2023 for Phase 1 of the $500 million Tech Hubs Program. This is an economic development program to develop centers of innovation across the country through support of regional manufacturing, commercialization, and deployment of key technologies.
The Department of Commerce released a funding opportunity in June 2023 for Phase 1 of the $200 million Recompete Pilot Program, an initiative to support economic opportunity and create good jobs in persistently distressed communities.
The June 2023 jobs report showed 497,000 more jobs created last month (twice the number anticipated) and wages up 6.4% – both indications of a strong, resilient economy and that ordinary, working Americans are doing well. Nonetheless, the stock market fell sharply over fears the Federal Reserve would continue to hike interest rates in order to tame the demon inflation by causing the labor market to weaken and take the steam out of wage growth. But the stock market is not the economy Americans live every day.
The Bidenomics agenda is driving investments in communities across the country – like billions of dollars for states to connect every American to high-speed internet, investments to rebuild roads and bridges, and investments to build a clean energy economy, boost domestic manufacturing, create jobs and lower costs for the American people.
Meanwhile, Republicans who voted against the historic investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and all efforts by the Biden Administration to promote a sustainable, resilient economic recovery that benefits all Americans, are actually, cynically, hypocritically taking credit for the marvelous infrastructure improvements like broadband and bridges, in their communities.
Despite GOP “voting no but still wanting the dough,” the Biden-Harris Administration is continuing to deliver investments, lower costs, and opportunity to hardworking Americans in every corner of the country.
In remarks in Chicago on June 28, President Biden declared, “Today, the U.S. has had the highest economic growth among the world’s leading economies since the pandemic. We’ve added over 13 million jobs, more jobs in two years than any President has added in a four-year term. “And folks, that’s no accident. That’s Bidenomics in action.
“Bidenomics is about building the economy from the middle out and bottom up – not the top down by making three fundamental changes.
“First, making smart investments in America. Second, educating and empowering American workers to grow the middle class. And third, promoting competition to lower costs and help small businesses.”
The White House provided this fact sheet outlining how Bidenomics is indeed working, giving the U.S. the strongest economy among the G7, and growing the economy sustainably, from the middle out and the bottom up, rather than the top-down “trickle down” con the Republicans have been hawking since Reagan.—Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Biden and Vice President Harris came into office determined to rebuild our economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down—and that strategy is working. Even as they faced an immediate economic and public health crisis—with a raging pandemic, elevated unemployment, snarled supply chains, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses at risk of shuttering—the President and Vice President understood that it wouldn’t be enough to simply go back to the economy we had before the pandemic. That economy was saddled with longstanding challenges that held America back—including rising inequality and disinvestment from communities across the country.
President Biden recognized that some of those challenges were rooted in a failed trickle-down theory that supported slashing taxes for the wealthy and big corporations, shrinking public investment in critical priorities like infrastructure and education, and failing to safeguard market competition.
The President took office determined to move beyond these failed trickle-down policies and fundamentally change the economic direction of our country. His plan—Bidenomics—is rooted in the recognition that the best way to grow the economy is from the middle out and the bottom up. It’s an economic vision centered around three key pillars:
Making smart public investments in America
Empowering and educating workers to grow the middle class
Promoting competition to lower costs and help entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive
While our work isn’t finished, Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people. Our economy has added more than 13 million jobs—including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs—and we’ve unleashed a manufacturing and clean energy boom. There were more than 10 million applications for new small businesses filed in 2021 and 2022—the strongest two years on record. America has seen the strongest growth since the pandemic of any leading economy in the world. Inflation has fallen for 11 straight months and has come down by more than half. And we have done it all while responsibly reducing the deficit.
None of this progress was an accident or inevitable—it has been a direct result of Bidenomics. And rather than taking us back to the failed trickle-down policies of the past, President Biden is committed to finishing the job and continuing to build an economy that finally works for working families—with better jobs, lower costs, and more opportunity.
Building More in America by Making Smart Public Investments
When President Biden came into office, public investment as a share of the economy had fallen from 7% in the 1960s to half that. A core tenet of Bidenomics is that targeted public investment can attract more private sector investment, rather than crowd it out. This is particularly true in sectors that are central to the long-term economic and national security interests of the United States—from improving our infrastructure, to semiconductors, to investing in clean energy and climate security.
The Biden-Harris Investing in America agenda is rebuilding our infrastructure, including our roads and bridges, high-speed internet capacity, ports, and airports. This infrastructure is the necessary foundation for durable and shared economic growth. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, 35,000 new projects have been awarded funding in communities all across the country. By requiring Made-in-America products when using federal funding to rebuild infrastructure, President Biden is not only investing in our country’s roads and bridges, but also a strong domestic manufacturing base.
The President’s agenda is also investing in key industries that are critical to our national security and economic security, like producing more semiconductors in America. And it is investing in accelerating the clean energy economy to help achieve our climate goals, working with our global partners. This approach is creating millions of good-paying jobs, advancing American leadership in innovating next-generation technologies, and delivering for workers and communities. The President’s agenda is strengthening our clean energy supply chains by spurring new and expanded U.S. factories, including more than 150 battery plants and 50 solar plants already announced. In all, we’ve seen $490 billion in private investment commitments in 21st century industries since the President took office, and inflation-adjusted manufacturing construction spending has grown by nearly 100% in just two years. New data released just today shows the clean energy workforce added nearly 300,000 jobs in 2022 and clean energy jobs grew in every state in America, in part because of the investments in clean energy and manufacturing by the Biden-Harris Administration.
Empowering and Educating Workers to Grow the Middle Class
Bidenomics also recognizes that the benefits of a growing economy are only broadly shared when policies are designed to promote and empower workers. When the President took office, independent experts like the Congressional Budget Office were projecting that the unemployment rate wouldn’t fall below 4% until the end of 2025. But under Bidenomics, the unemployment rate fell below 4% four years before expectations and has stayed there for the past 18 months.
We’ve also seen record lows in unemployment for workers who have often been left behind in previous recoveries: with record low unemployment rates achieved under this Administration for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and people with disabilities—and a 70-year low for women. This strong labor market recovery has also led to better pay and working conditions. Inflation-adjusted income is up 3.5% since the President took office, and low-wage workers have seen the largest wage gains over the last year. Job satisfaction reached its highest level on record last year. And the prospect of good jobs has drawn people off the sidelines and into the workforce. In fact, the share of working-age Americans in the workforce hasn’t been higher in more than 20 years. This strong recovery will also provide durable benefits for years to come, in part by preventing the labor market scarring that sticks with workers for generations after a recession.
Empowering workers also means educating America’s workers—those with and without a four-year degree. That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration is investing more in registered apprenticeships and career technical education programs than any previous Administration and continuing to fight for free universal pre-K and free community college.
And the President believes a critical tool for empowering workers is making it easier to join a union. The President is addressing a decades-long decline in unionization by supporting project labor agreements and collective bargaining. He asked the Vice President to lead the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment to drive action across the Administration to empower workers and support their right to join or form a union. Support for unions is the highest it’s been in more than half a century, and the labor movement is expanding to new companies and industries.
Promoting Competition to Lower Costs and Help Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Thrive
Bidenomics recognizes that for markets to function—and for workers and consumers to benefit—our economy requires healthy competition across sectors. After three-quarters of U.S. industries grew more concentrated in the two decades before President Biden took office, he understood that we needed a different approach. More competition means lower costs for consumers and higher wages for workers. And since taking office, the President has been delivering for the American people to lower prices, protect workers, and increase competition across the economy.
For example, the Administration changed the rules so that hearing aids can be sold over-the-counter, instead of just via prescription. Previously, hearings aids could cost up to $5,000 per pair, but Americans can now get them for a few hundred dollars at a local convenience or electronics store. President Biden has signed legislation into law that will lower prescription drug costs for seniors and save taxpayers $160 billion over the next decade by giving Medicare the authority to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. The Administration is also fighting to end junk fees—hidden charges that cost Americans’ tens of billions per year and rob the marketplace of the kind of transparency that is necessary for real competition. And the Administration is working toward cracking down on noncompete agreements, which currently limit as many as 30 million workers from switching to a new job in the same field.
Reducing the Deficit and Making the Wealthy and Big Corporations Pay Their Fair Share
President Biden has pursued this economic vision in a fiscally responsible way—in stark contrast to the Congressional Republican approach. His predecessor enacted the latest version of trickle-down and the result was predictable: his tax giveaway added trillions to deficits, never trickled down to workers, and led to continued offshoring of jobs and profits. In recent weeks, House Republicans have doubled down on this approach—rolling out proposals to enact massive tax cuts for large corporations, including oil companies that made $200 billion in profit last year, while setting the stage for trillions in tax cuts skewed to the wealthiest Americans, delivering a $175,000 average annual tax cut to the top 0.1% (incomes over $4 million). Their view of “fiscal responsibility” is massive cuts to programs that millions of Americans count on, with the Republican Study Committee—which speaks for more than three quarters of House Republicans—recently releasing a plan to raise the Social Security retirement age to 69, eliminate the Medicare prescription drug savings that President Biden has signed into law, raise premiums for seniors on Medicare, and slash Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, food assistance, and Pell Grants.
President Biden believes in a fundamentally different approach. Under Bidenomics, he has proven that we can make smart investments in the American people while reducing the deficit by ensuring the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes, closing wasteful tax loopholes, and slashing wasteful spending on special interests.
During his first two years, the President presided over $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction—a larger reduction than under any other President in American history. He has signed legislation into law to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next decade, including by ensuring the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations pay their fair share, cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, and lowering prescription drug costs for the American people by cutting wasteful giveaways to Big Pharma. And his Budget would reduce the deficit by another more than $2.5 trillion over the next decade with additional reforms, including requiring the wealthiest Americans and the largest multinational corporations to pay at least the tax rates that many middle-class families do.
Unlike House Republicans—whose plans would harm hard-working families—the President has proposed cutting taxes for working people and families with children by almost $800 billion over the next 10 years, including cutting taxes by an average of $2,600 for 39 million families that include 62 million children by expanding the Child Tax Credit, cutting taxes by an average of $800 for 19 million working individuals or couples by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and continuing Premium Tax Credit plus-ups that are cutting health care premiums by an average of $800 for nearly 15 million people.
Over one year ago, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. While “infrastructure week” was a punchline under his predecessor, President Biden is delivering an “infrastructure decade” that is producing real results to change people’s lives for the better, creating good-paying jobs, and boosting American manufacturing.
In his first State of the Union Address in 2022, President Biden highlighted how our historic federal investments in infrastructure would create a visible impact in the lives of American families by committing to start repair on 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges. The President also committed to making rapid progress across every facet of the law.
Since the last State of the Union, the Administration has surpassed those ambitious goals. This includes launching over 3,700 bridge repair and replacement projects across the country, beginning repair of over 69,000 miles of roadway, awarding funds for over 3,000 new clean transit and school buses, increasing enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program to over 16 million households, and approving state plans for water funding, EV charging networks and high-speed internet deployment.
Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents historic progress, as the largest and most significant investment in:
Rebuilding our roads and bridges since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System;
Public transit in American history and an historic investment to make public transportation accessible;
Passenger rail since Amtrak’s inception, 50 years ago;
Clean water infrastructure;
Affordable, high-speed internet;
Tackling legacy pollution and advancing environmental justice;
Upgrading the power grid to transmit more clean energy and withstand extreme weather;
Increasing our infrastructure’s resilience against the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and cyber-attacks;
Replacing dirty diesel buses with clean, electric buses across school bus and transit fleets; and,
A national network of EV chargers in the United States and largest investment in domestic manufacturing of batteries and the critical minerals that power them.
These once-in-a-generation investments are positioning the United States to win the 21st century. That is why the Biden-Harris Administration has been laser-focused on implementing the law.
In recent weeks, the President has announced awards for regionally or nationally-significant projects including over $2 billion to upgrade some our nation’s most economically significant bridges and over $1.2 billion in Mega grants. These infrastructure investments will create good-paying jobs – including union jobs and jobs that do not require a college degree. The projects will grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users. To highlight that progress, the White House unveiled an illustrative map of signature projects on build.gov.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making the funding opportunities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law both accessible and transparent, so communities across America know what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild. Our goal is to help state, local, Tribal and territorial governments navigate, access, and deploy infrastructure resources that will build a better America. As such, the White House today released an updated calendar of notices of funding opportunity expected throughout the year.
“Made in America”
Indeed, President Biden devoted the largest portion of his State of the Union address to infrastructure and jobs:
We used to be number one in the world in infrastructure. We’ve sunk to 13th in the world. The United States of America — 13th in the world in infrastructure, modern infrastructure.
But now we’re coming back because we came together and passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System. (Applause.)
Folks, already we’ve funded over 20,000 projects, including major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland — projects that are going to put thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, our bridges, our railroads, our tunnels, ports, airports, clean water, high-speed Internet all across America — urban, rural, Tribal.
And, folks, we’re just getting started. We’re just getting started. (Applause.)
And I mean this sincerely: I want to thank my Republican friends who voted for the law. And my Republican friends who voted against it as well — but I’m still — I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts as well, but don’t worry. I promised I’d be a President for all Americans. We’ll fund these projects. And I’ll see you at the groundbreaking. (Applause.)
Look, this law — this law will further unite all of America.
Projects like the Brent Spence Bridge in Kentucky over the Ohio River. Built 60 years ago. Badly in need of repairs. One of the nation’s most congested freight routes, carrying $2 billion worth of freight every single day across the Ohio River.
And, folks, we’ve been talking about fixing it for decades, but we’re really finally going to get it done….And that’s what we’re also building — we’re building back pride.
Look, we’re also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes in America, 400,000 schools and childcare centers so every child in America — every child in American can drink the water, instead of having permanent damage to their brain. (Applause.)
Look, we’re making sure that every community in America has access to affordable, high-speed Internet… And when we do these projects — and, again, I get criticized about this, but I make no excuses for it — we’re going to buy American. (Applause.) ..and it’s totally consistent with international trade rules. Buy American has been the law since 1933. But for too long, past administrations — Democrat and Republican — have fought to get around it. Not anymore.
Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America. (Applause.) Made in America. I mean it. (Applause.) Lumber, glass, drywall, fiber-optic cable.
And on my watch, American roads, bridges, and American highways are going to be made with American products as well.
Folks, my economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. So many of you listening tonight, I know you feel it. So many of you felt like you’ve just simply been forgotten. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind and treated like they’re invisible.
Maybe that’s you, watching from home. You remember the jobs that went away. You remember them, don’t you?
The folks at home remember them. You wonder whether the path even exists anymore for your children to get ahead without having to move away…That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind.
Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of choices we made in the last several years.
You know, this is, in my view, a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives at home. (Applause.)
Today, the White House Infrastructure Implementation Team also released new state-by-state fact sheets which outline the progress in all 50 states, DC and the territories as of January 13, 2023:
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to a new report from Moody’s this morning, President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal and Build Back Better Framework will add 1.5 million jobs per year on average across the whole decade, while accelerating America’s path to full employment and increasing labor force participation.
Moody’s also projects that total GDP will increase by nearly $3 trillion relative to the baseline over the next decade.
And, the Moody’s report confirms what the President has said for weeks: that these sorts of investments in making our economy more productive will keep prices stable and decrease inflationary pressure.
Moody’s notes that, “the legislation is also designed to ease the financial burden of inflation for lower- and middle-income Americans by helping with the cost of childcare, eldercare, education, healthcare and housing for these income groups.” The Moody’s report concludes that, “failing to pass legislation would diminish the economy’s prospects.”
Since President Biden took office, there has been historic job growth – nearly 5 million new jobs, the most in any President’s first eight months on record. The average number of new unemployment insurance claims has been cut by more than 60 percent and small business optimism has returned to its pre-pandemic levels. Independent projections from the CBO, the IMF, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the OECD, and many others all forecast America this year reaching the highest levels of growth in decades thanks to the President’s success in getting economic relief to the middle-class and curbing the pandemic. While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were.
This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy by making transformational investments in our middle-class and economic competitiveness. The President’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better Framework will rebuild the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, ease the burden of high costs on working families, and deliver one of the biggest middle class tax cuts ever.
In moving remarks, President Joe Biden, only the first sitting president to acknowledge the Tulsa Race Massacre of 100 years ago, tackled systemic, institutional racism and laid out a plan for economic justice including improving access to homeownership (the most significant factor in family wealth), investments in minority-owned small businesses and disadvantaged communities, and said he would act to preserve voting rights. He pointed to the most significant threat against domestic tranquility – White Supremacy and the rise of domestic terrorists – drawing a line from the Tulsa Race Massacre a century ago and today, and tackled the latest assault by right-wingers to whitewash history, rather than take responsibility.
“We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know. We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do: They come to terms with their dark sides. And we’re a great nation. The only way to build a common ground is to truly repair and to rebuild”
“Only with truth can come healing and justice and repair.”
Biden said, “And there’s greater recognition that, for too long, we’ve allowed a narrowed, cramped view of the promise of this nation to fester — the view that America is a zero-sum game where there is only one winner. “If you succeed, I fail. If you get ahead, I fall behind. If you get a job, I lose mine.” And maybe worst of all, “If I hold you down, I lift myself up,” instead of “If you do well, we all do well.” (Applause.) We see that in Greenwood.
“This story isn’t about the loss of life, but a loss of living, of wealth and prosperity and possibilities that still reverberates today.”
He announced significant policies aimed at redressing generational discrimination:
“Today, we’re announcing two expanded efforts targeted toward Black wealth creation that will also help the entire community. The first is: My administration has launched an aggressive effort to combat racial discrimination in housing. That includes everything from redlining to the cruel fact that a home owned by a Black family is too often appraised at a lower value than a similar home owned by a white family…
“I’m going to increase the share of the dollars the federal government spends to small, disadvantaged businesses, including Black and brown small businesses” from 10 percent to 15 percent.
Biden laid out a plan to use infrastructure investments to specifically improve lives in historically disadvantaged communities.
Then the President turned to voting rights, which Congressman john Lewis called “precious,” “almost sacred”… “The most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society”.
Biden declared, “This sacred right is under assault with an incredible intensity like I’ve never seen.. It’s simply un-American. It is not, however, sadly, unprecedented,” and vowed to ”today, let me be unequivocal: we’re going to be ramping up our efforts to overcome again.” He said june would be a month of action, called upon voting rights groups to engage in voter registration campaigns and designated Vice President Kamala Harris as the point-person in his administration to get Congress to pass critical voting rights legislation, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
But returning to the Tulsa Massacre of 100 years ago, he said that violence resonates again in the rise of White Supremacy, Neo-Nazism, the resurrection of the KKK – the rise of hate crimes and terror against blacks, Asian-Americans, Jews – as was on display in Charlottesville NC that inspired Biden to run for president to “reclaim the soul of the nation.”
“Hate is never defeated; it only hides,” Biden declared. “And given a little bit of oxygen — just a little bit oxygen — by its leaders, it comes out of there from under the rock like it was happening again, as if it never went away. We must not give hate a safe harbor.”
“Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today. Not ISIS, not al Qaeda — white supremacists” and promised to soon lay out “a broader strategy to counter domestic terrorism and the violence driven by the most heinous hate crimes and other forms of bigotry.”
Here is a highlighted transcript:
I just toured the Hall of Survivors here in Greenwood Cultural Center, and I want to thank the incredible staff for hosting us here. And — (applause) — I mean that sincerely. Thank you.
In the tour, I met Mother Randle, who’s only 56  years old. (Laughter.) God love her. And Mother Fletcher, who’s 67  years old. (Laughter.) And her brother — her brother, Van Ellis, who’s 100 years old. (Laughter.) And he looks like he’s 60. Thank you for spending so much time with me. I really mean it. It was a great honor. A genuine honor.
You are the three known remaining survivors of a story seen in the mirror dimly. But no longer. Now your story will be known in full view.
The events we speak of today took place 100 years ago. And yet, I’m the first President in 100 years ever to come to Tulsa — (applause) — I say that not as a compliment about me, but to think about it — a hundred years, and the first President to be here during that entire time, and in this place, in this ground, to acknowledge the truth of what took place here.
For much too long, the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness. But just because history is silent, it doesn’t mean that it did not take place. And while darkness can hide much, it erases nothing. It erases nothing. Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous they can’t be buried, no matter how hard people try.
And so it is here. Only — only with truth can come healing and justice and repair. Only with truth, facing it. But that isn’t enough.
First, we have to see, hear, and give respect to Mother Randle, Mother Fletcher, and Mr. Van Ellis. (Applause.) To all those lost so many years ago, to all the descendants of those who suffered, to this community — that’s why we’re here: to shine a light, to make sure America knows the story in full.
May 1921: Formerly enslaved Black people and their descendants are here in Tulsa — a boom town of oil and opportunity in a new frontier.
On the north side, across the rail tracks that divided the city already segregated by law, they built something of their own, worthy — worthy of their talent and their ambition: Greenwood — a community, a way of life. Black doctors and lawyers, pastors, teachers; running hospitals, law practices, libraries, churches, schools.
Black veterans, like a man I had the privilege to giving a Command Coin to, who fought — volunteered and fought, and came home and still faced such prejudice. (Applause.) Veterans had been back a few years helping after winning the first World War, building a new life back home with pride and confidence, who were a mom-and — they were, at the time — mom-and-plack [sic] — mom-and-pop Black diners, grocery stores, barber shops, tailors — the things that make up a community.
At the Dreamland Theatre, a young Black couple, holding hands, falling in love. Friends gathered at music clubs and pool halls; at the Monroe family roller-skating rink. Visitors staying in hotels, like the Stradford.
All around, Black pride shared by the professional class and the working class who lived together, side by side, for blocks on end.
Mother Randle was just six years old — six years old — living with her grandmom. She said she was lucky to have a home and toys, and fortunate to live without fear.
Mother Fletcher was seven years old, the second of seven children. The youngest, being Mr. Van Ellis, was just a few months old. The children of former sharecroppers, when they went to bed at night in Greenwood, Mother Fletcher says they fell asleep rich in terms of the wealth — not real wealth, but a different wealth — a wealth in culture and community and heritage. (Applause.)
But one night — one night changed everything. Everything changed. While Greenwood was a community to itself, it was not separated from the outside.
It wasn’t everyone, but there was enough hate, resentment, and vengeance in the community. Enough people who believed that America does not belong to everyone and not everyone is created equal — Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Black Americans. A belief enforced by law, by badge, by hood and by noose.
And it speaks to that — lit the fuse. It lit it by the spark that it provided — a fuse of fury — was an innocent interaction that turned into a terrible, terrible headline allegation of a Black male teenager attacking a white female teenager.
A white mob of 1,000 gathered around the courthouse where the Black teenager was being held, ready to do what still occurred: lynch that young man that night. But 75 Black men, including Black veterans, arrived to stand guard.
Words were exchanged. Then a scuffle. Then shots fired. Hell was unleashed. Literal hell was unleashed.
Through the night and into the morning, the mob terrorized Greenwood. Torches and guns. Shooting at will. A mob tied a Black man by the waist to the back of their truck with his head banging along the pavement as they drove off. A murdered Black family draped over the fence of their home outside. An elderly couple, knelt by their bed, praying to God with their heart and their soul, when they were shot in the back of their heads.
Private planes — private planes — dropping explosives — the first and only domestic aerial assault of its kind on an American city here in Tulsa.
Eight of Greenwood’s nearly two dozen churches burned, like Mt. Zion — across the street, at Vernon AME.
Mother Randle said it was like war. Mother Fletcher says, all these years later, she still sees Black bodies around.
The Greenwood newspaper publisher A.J. Smitherman penned a poem of what he heard and felt that night. And here’s the poem. He said, “Kill them, burn them, set the pace… teach them how to keep their place. Reign of murder, theft, and plunder was the order of the night.” That’s what he remembered in the poem that he wrote.
One hundred years ago at this hour, on this first day of June, smoke darkened the Tulsa sky, rising from 35 blocks of Greenwood that were left in ash and ember, razed and in rubble.
In less than 24 hours, 1,100 Black homes and businesses were lost. Insurance companies — they had insurance, many of them — rejected claims of damage. Ten thousand people were left destitute and homeless, placed in internment camps.
As I was told today, they were told, “Don’t you mention you were ever in a camp or we’ll come and get you.” That’s what survivors told me.
Yet no one — no arrests of the mob were made. None. No proper accounting of the dead. The death toll records by local officials said there were 36 people. That’s all. Thirty-six people.
But based on studies, records, and accounts, the likelihood — the likely number is much more, in the multiple of hundreds. Untold bodies dumped into mass graves. Families who, at the time, waited for hours and days to know the fate of their loved ones are now descendants who have gone 100 years without closure.
But, you know, as we speak, the process — the process of exhuming the unmarked graves has started. And at this moment, I’d like to pause for a moment of silence for the fathers, the mothers, the sisters, sons, and daughters, friends of God and Greenwood. They deserve dignity, and they deserve our respect. May their souls rest in peace.
[Pause for a moment of silence.]
My fellow Americans, this was not a riot. This was a massacre — (applause) — among the worst in our history, but not the only one. And for too long, forgotten by our history.
As soon as it happened, there was a clear effort to erase it from our memory — our collective memories — from the news and everyday conversations. For a long time, schools in Tulsa didn’t even teach it, let alone schools elsewhere.
And most people didn’t realize that, a century ago, a second Ku Klux Klan had been founded — the second Ku Klux Klan had been founded.
A friend of mine, Jon Meacham — I had written — when I said I was running to restore the soul of America, he wrote a book called “The Soul of America” — not because of what I said. And there’s a picture about page 160 in his book, showing over 30,000 Ku Klux Klan members in full regalia, Reverend — pointed hats, the robes — marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Jesse, you know all about this. Washin- — Washington, D.C.
If my memory is correct, there were 37 members of the House of Representatives who were open members of the Klan. There were five, if I’m not mistaken — it could have been seven; I think it was five — members of the United States Senate — open members of the Klan. Multiple governors who were open members of the Klan.
Most people didn’t realize that, a century ago, the Klan was founded just six years before the horrific destruction here in Tulsa. And one of the reasons why it was founded was because of guys like me, who were Catholic. It wasn’t about African Americans, then; it was about making sure that all those Polish and Irish and Italian and Eastern European Catholics who came to the United States after World War One would not pollute Christianity.
The flames from those burning crosses torched every region — region of the country. Millions of white Americans belonged to the Klan, and they weren’t even embarrassed by it; they were proud of it.
And that hate became embedded systematically and systemically in our laws and our culture. We do ourselves no favors by pretending none of this ever happened or that it doesn’t impact us today, because it does still impact us today.
We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know. (Applause.) We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do: They come to terms with their dark sides. And we’re a great nation.
The only way to build a common ground is to truly repair and to rebuild. I come here to help fill the silence, because in silence, wounds deepen. (Applause.) And only — as painful as it is, only in remembrance do wounds heal. We just have to choose to remember.
We memorialize what happened here in Tulsa so it can be –so it can’t be erased. We know here, in this hallowed place, we simply can’t bury pain and trauma forever.
And at some point, there will be a reckoning, an inflection point, like we’re facing right now as a nation.
What many people hadn’t seen before or ha- — or simply refused to see cannot be ignored any longer. You see it in so many places.
And there’s greater recognition that, for too long, we’ve allowed a narrowed, cramped view of the promise of this nation to fester — the view that America is a zero-sum game where there is only one winner. “If you succeed, I fail. If you get ahead, I fall behind. If you get a job, I lose mine.” And maybe worst of all, “If I hold you down, I lift myself up,” instead of “If you do well, we all do well.” (Applause.) We see that in Greenwood.
This story isn’t about the loss of life, but a loss of living, of wealth and prosterity [prosperity] and possibilities that still reverberates today.
Mother Fletcher talks about how she was only able to attend school until the fourth grade and eventually found work in the shipyards, as a domestic worker.
Mr. Van Ellis has shared how, even after enlisting and serving in World War Two, he still came home to struggle with a segregated America.
Imagine all those hotels and dinners [diners] and mom-and-pop shops that could been — have been passed down this past hundred years. Imagine what could have been done for Black families in Greenwood: financial security and generational wealth.
If you come from backgrounds like my — my family — a working-class, middle-class family — the only way we were ever able to generate any wealth was in equity in our homes. Imagine what they contributed then and what they could’ve contributed all these years. Imagine a thriving Greenwood in North Tulsa for the last hundred years, what that would’ve meant for all of Tulsa, including the white community.
While the people of Greenwood rebuilt again in the years after the massacre, it didn’t last. Eventually neighborhoods were redlined on maps, locking Black Tulsa out of homeownerships. (Applause.) A highway was built right through the heart of the community. Lisa, I was talking about our west side — what 95 did to it after we were occupied by the military, after Dr. King was murdered. The community — cutting off Black families and businesses from jobs and opportunity. Chronic underinvestment from state and federal governments denied Greenwood even just a chance at rebuilding. (Applause.)
We must find the courage to change the things we know we can change. That’s what Vice President Harris and I are focused on, along with our entire administration, including our Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Marcia Fudge, who is here today. (Applause.)
Because today, we’re announcing two expanded efforts targeted toward Black wealth creation that will also help the entire community. The first is: My administration has launched an aggressive effort to combat racial discrimination in housing. That includes everything from redlining to the cruel fact that a home owned by a Black family is too often appraised at a lower value than a similar home owned by a white family. (Applause.)
And I might add — and I need help if you have an answer to this; I can’t figure this one out, Congressman Horsford. But if you live in a Black community and there’s another one on the other side of the highway — it’s a white community; it’s the — built by the same builder, and you have a better driving record than they guy with the same car in the white community, you’re — can pay more for your auto insurance.
Shockingly, the percentage of Black American homeownership is lower today in America than when the Fair Housing Act was passed more than 50 years ago. Lower today. That’s wrong. And we’re committing to changing that.
Just imagine if instead of denying millions of Americans the ability to own their own home and build generational wealth, we made it possible for them to buy a home and build equity into that — into that home and provide for their families.
Second, small businesses are the engines of our economy and the glue of our communities. As President, my administration oversees hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts for everything from refurbishing decks of aircraft carriers, to installing railings in federal buildings, to professional services.
We have a thing called — I won’t go into it all because there’s not enough time now. But I’m determined to use every taxpayer’s dollar that is assigned to me to spend, going to American companies and American workers to build American products. And as part of that, I’m going to increase the share of the dollars the federal government spends to small, disadvantaged businesses, including Black and brown small businesses.
Right now, it calls for 10 percent; I’m going to move that to 15 percent of every dollar spent will be spent (inaudible). (Applause.) I have the authority to do that.
Just imagine if, instead of denying millions of entrepreneurs the ability to access capital and contracting, we made it possible to take their dreams to the marketplace to create jobs and invest in our communities.
That — the data shows young Black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding, given the chance, as white entrepreneurs are. But they don’t have lawyers. They don’t have — they — they don’t have accountants, but they have great ideas.
Does anyone doubt this whole nation would be better off from the investments those people make? And I promise you, that’s why I set up the — a national Small Business Administration that’s much broader. Because they’re going to get those loans.
Instead of consigning millions of American children to under-resourced schools, let’s give each and every child, three and four years old, access to school — not daycare, school. (Applause.)
In the last 10 years, studies have been done by all the great universities. It shows that, if increased by 56 percent, the possibility of a child — no matter what background they come from; no matter what — if they start school at three years old, they have a 56 percent chance of going all through all 12 years without any trouble and being able to do well, and a chance to learn and grow and thrive in a school and throughout their lives.
And let’s unlock more than — an incredible creativity and innovation that will come from the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (Applause.) I have a $5 billion program giving them the resources to invest in research centers and laboratories and high-demand fields to compete for the good-paying jobs in industries like — of the future, like cybersecurity.
The reason why they don’t — their — their students are equally able to learn as well, and get the good-paying job that start at 90- and 100,000 bucks. But they don’t have — they don’t have the back — they don’t have the money to provide and build those laboratories. So, guess what? They’re going to get the money to build those laboratories. (Applause.)
So, instead of just talking about infrastructure, let’s get about the business of actually rebuilding roads and highways, filling the sidewalks and cracks, installing streetlights and high-speed Internet, creating space — space to live and work and play safely.
Let’s ensure access to healthcare, clean water, clean air, nearby grocery stores — stock the fresh vegetables and food that — (applause) — in fact, deal with — I mean, these are all things we can do.
Does anyone doubt this whole nation would be better off with these investments? The rich will be just as well off. The middle class will do better, and everybody will do better. It’s about good-paying jobs, financial stability, and being able to build some generational wealth. It’s about economic growth for our country and outcompeting the rest of the world, which is now outcompeting us.
But just as fundamental as any of these investments I’ve discussed — this may be the most fundamental: the right to vote. (Applause.) The right to vote. (Applause.)
A lot of the members of the Black Caucus knew John Lewis better than I did, but I knew him. On his deathbed, like many, I called John, to speak to him. But all John wanted to do was talk about how I was doing. He died, I think, about 25 hours later.
But you know what John said? He called the right to vote “precious,” “almost sacred.” He said, “The most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society”.
This sacred right is under assault with an incredible intensity like I’ve never seen — even though I got started as a public defender and a civil rights lawyer — with an intensity and an aggressiveness that we have not seen in a long, long time.
It’s simply un-American. It is not, however, sadly, unprecedented. The creed “We Shall Overcome” is a longtime mainstay of the Civil Rights Movement, as Jesse Jackson can tell you better than anybody.
The obstacle to progress that have to be overcome are a constant challenge. We saw it in the ‘60s, but with the current assault, it’s not just an echo of a distant history.
In 2020, we faced a tireless assault on the right to vote: restrictive laws, lawsuits, threats of intimidation, voter purges, and more. We resolved to overcome it all, and we did. More Americans voted in the last election than any — in the midst of a pandemic — than any election in American history. (Applause.)
You got voters registered. You got voters to the polls. The rule of law held. Democracy prevailed. We overcame.
But today, let me be unequivocal: I’ve been engaged in this work my whole career, and we’re going to be ramping up our efforts to overcome again.
I will have more to say about this at a later date — the truly unprecedented assault on our democracy, an effort to replace nonpartisan election administrators and to intimidate those charged with tallying and reporting the election results.
But today, as for the act of voting itself, I urge voting rights groups in this country to begin to redouble their efforts now to register and educate voters. (Applause.)
June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill. I hear all the folks on TV saying, “Why doesn’t Biden get this done?” Well, because Biden only has a majority of, effectively, four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.
But we’re not giving up. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed For the People Act to protect our democracy. The Senate will take it up later this month, and I’m going to fight like heck with every tool at my disposal for its passage.
The House is also working on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which is — which is critical — (applause) — to providing new legal tools to combat the new assault on the right to vote.
To signify the importance of our efforts, today I’masking Vice President Harris to help these efforts and lead them, among her many other responsibilities.
With her leadership and your support, we’re going to overcome again, I promise you. But it’s going to take a hell of a lot of work. (Applause.)
And finally, we have to — and finally, we must address what remains the stain on the soul of America. What happened in Greenwood was an act of hate and domestic terrorism with a through line that exists today still.
Just close your eyes and remember what you saw in Charlottesville four years ago on television. Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the KKK coming out of those fields at night in Virginia with lighted torches — the veins bulging on their — as they were screaming. Remember? Just close your eyes and picture what it was.
Well, Mother Fletcher said when she saw the insurrection at the Capitol on January the 9th [6th], it broke her heart — a mob of violent white extremists — thugs. Said it reminded her what happened here in Greenwood 100 years ago.
Look around at the various hate crimes against Asian Americans and Jewish Americans. Hate that never goes away. Hate only hides.
Jesse, I think I mentioned this to you. I thought, after you guys pushed through, with Dr. King, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act — I thought we moved. But what I didn’t realize — I thought we had made enormous progress, and I was so proud to be a little part of it.
But you know what, Rev? I didn’t realize hate is never defeated; it only hides. It hides. And given a little bit of oxygen — just a little bit oxygen — by its leaders, it comes out of there from under the rock like it was happening again, as if it never went away.
And so, folks, we can’t — we must not give hate a safe harbor.
As I said in my address to the joint session of Congress: According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today. Not ISIS, not al Qaeda — white supremacists. (Applause.) That’s not me; that’s the intelligence community under both Trump and under my administration.
Two weeks ago, I signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which the House had passed and the Senate. My administration will soon lay out our broader strategy to counter domestic terrorism and the violence driven by the most heinous hate crimes and other forms of bigotry.
But I’m going to close where I started. To Mother Randle, Mother Fletcher, Mr. Van Ellis, to the descendants, and to all survivors: Thank you. Thank you for giving me the honor of being able to spend some time with you earlier today. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your commitment. And thank your children, and your grandchildren, and your unc- — and your nieces and your nephews.
To see and learn from you is a gift — a genuine gift. Dr. John Hope Franklin, one of America’s greatest historians — Tulsa’s proud son, whose father was a Greenwood survivor — said, and I quote, “Whatever you do, it must be done in the spirit of goodwill and mutual respect and even love. How else can we overcome the past and be worthy of our forebearers and face the future with confidence and with hope?”
On this sacred and solemn day, may we find that distinctly Greenwood spirit that defines the American spirit — the spirit that gives me so much confidence and hope for the future; that helps us see, face to face; a spirit that helps us know fully who we are and who we can be as a people and as a nation.
I’ve never been more optimistic about the future than I am today. I mean that. And the reason is because of this new generation of young people. They’re the best educated, they’re the least prejudiced, the most open generation in American history.
And although I have no scientific basis of what I’m about to say, but those of you who are over 50 — how often did you ever see — how often did you ever see advertisements on television with Black and white couples? Not a joke.
I challenge you — find today, when you turn on the stations — sit on one station for two hours. And I don’t know how many commercials you’ll see — eight to five — two to three out of five have mixed-race couples in them. That’s not by accident. They’re selling soap, man. (Laughter.) Not a joke.
Remember ol’ Pat Caddell? He used to say, “You want to know what’s happening in American culture? Watch advertising, because they want to sell what they have.”
We have hope in folks like you, honey. I really mean it. We have hope. But we’ve got to give them support. We have got to give them the backbone to do what we know has to be done. Because I doubt whether any of you would be here if you didn’t care deeply about this. You sure in the devil didn’t come to hear me speak. (Laughter.)
But I really mean it. I really mean it. Let’s not give up, man. Let’s not give up.
As the old saying goes, “Hope springs eternal.” I know we’ve talked a lot about famous people, but I’m — my colleagues in the Senate used to kid me because I was always quoting Irish poets. They think I did it because I’m Irish. They think I did it because we Irish — we have a little chip on our shoulder. A little bit, sometimes.
That’s not why I did it; I did it because they’re the best poets in the world. (Laughter.) You can smile, it’s okay. It’s true.
There was a famous poet who wrote a poem called “The Cure at Troy” — Seamus Heaney. And there is a stanza in it that I think is the definition of what I think should be our call today for young people.
It said, “History teaches us not to hope on this side of the grave, but then, once in a lifetime, the longed-for tidal wave of justice rises up, and hope and history rhyme.”