Mar 31, 2021
With President Joe Biden expected to unveil the first part of his jobs and infrastructure plan from Pittsburgh later on Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is warning that the White House's $2.26 trillion proposal does not come close to meeting the scale of the unemployment, inequality, and climate crises facing the nation and world.
By contrast, Ocasio-Cortez noted, the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress earlier this month in an effort to provide relief amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic "was $1.9 trillion for this year alone, with some provisions lasting two years."
The progressive stalwart added that the Biden administration, which has vowed to "Build Back Better," needs to embrace a much more ambitious agenda for an equitable and green economic recovery.
\u201cThis is not nearly enough. The important context here is that it\u2019s $2.25T spread out over 10 years.\n\nFor context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year *alone,* with some provisions lasting 2 years.\n\nNeeds to be way bigger.\u201d— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1617141016
Ocasio-Cortez is far from alone in criticizing Biden's jobs and infrastructure plan.
As Common Dreamsreported Tuesday, Biden will be greeted upon his arrival in Pittsburgh on Wednesday by four billboards from progressive advocates urging his administration to "go big" and "go bold" on recovery, in part by supporting the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Act. Officially announced Monday by a group of Democratic lawmakers, the bill builds on a resolution introduced last September by a coalition of labor and social justice groups.
While the Washington Postreported that Biden's two-part package could possibly top $4 trillion, the THRIVE Act proposes investing $10 trillion over the next decade in renewable energy, clean mass transit, and sustainable retrofitting and construction--creating over 15 million well-paying union jobs while advancing economic and environmental justice.
Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Ashley Thomson said Wednesday in a statement that "our movement has already handed President Biden the plan he needs to end the unemployment crisis, combat climate change, and deliver a just, equitable recovery from Covid-19: the THRIVE Agenda."
The THRIVE Agenda has been endorsed by more than 100 members of Congress and 300 unions, racial justice organizations, and climate groups.
"We will not settle for anything less. This is a moment for the president to be bold, and to listen to the wisdom of the very communities that organized to put him in office," said Thomson. "Instead of wasting billions of dollars every year subsidizing fossil fuels, our government should be investing in the renewable energy economy of the future."
During more than 100 "Time to Thrive" events, communities across the country on Wednesday will remind Biden and other elected officials that in the wake of the coronavirus-driven economic crisis, they have a once-in-a-generation chance to build a more egalitarian society that prioritizes public health.
"Not only can we avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we can create a world in which our health and our families come before corporate greed," said Thomson.
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