Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), listens during a press conference introducing the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021 on March 18, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), listens during a press conference introducing the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021 on March 18, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Ocasio-Cortez Says Biden Infrastructure Plan 'Needs To Be Way Bigger'

"This is not nearly enough," the New York Democrat said of Biden's $2.26 trillion proposal.

Kenny Stancil

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.

"This is not nearly enough," the New York Democrat tweeted Tuesday, adding that the spending proposed in Biden's American Jobs Plan is "spread out" over nearly a decade.

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.

Ocasio-Cortez is far from alone in criticizing Biden's jobs and infrastructure plan.

As Common Dreams reported 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 Post reported 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.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Donald Trump Has Finally Run Out of Places to Hide' as House Dems Get Tax Returns

"It's no longer a question of if he's hiding something big," one watchdog group asserted, "it's a question of what he's hiding."

Brett Wilkins ·


Democrats, Progressive Groups Push DOJ to Publish Database of 'Corporate Lawbreaking'

"The Corporate Crime Database Act will bring transparency to the corporate crime crisis so that the DOJ and other law enforcement agencies can better reckon with this greed-driven menace," said one advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


As Corporations Enjoy Record-High Profits, Experts Urge Congress to 'Rein Them In'

"Today's record corporate profits mirror what we have been hearing on earnings call after earnings call: Corporations are gleefully reporting that their strategy to burden families with unnecessary price hikes is working."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': PFAS Firefighting Foam Spills at Notorious Red Hill Naval Facility in Hawaii

While officials said there is no evidence that drinking water was contaminated, the incident generated further local frustration with the closing fuel storage complex.

Jessica Corbett ·


House Passes Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers Despite Opposition of 207 Republicans

"Now let's get it through the Senate," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who led the fight to add seven days of paid sick leave to a White House-brokered contract that failed to provide any to railroad workers.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo