INVEST IN AMERICA WEEKLY ROUNDUP

Invest in America released a poll with Data for Progress, demonstrating that both the Build Back Better agenda and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal have an overwhelming support from a majority of voters, and that voters want infrastructure investments paired with investments in education, long-term care, and more. The poll found that:

  • 69% of voters, including 81% of Democrats, 66% of Independents, and 57% of Republicans, support passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

  • 62% of voters, including 83% of Democrats, 56% of Independents, and 41% of Republicans, support passage of the Build Back Better agenda through reconciliation.

  • 82% of voters believe that it is important for the U.S. to invest in initiatives in addition to physical infrastructure, including expanding educational opportunities, and strengthening the social safety net.

  • Invest in America Action hosted a press conference in Arizona urging Congress to support the critical investments in the Build Back Better agenda to better support teachers and students, featuring State Senator Christine Marsh, Arizona Education Association Vice President Marisol Garcia, and Educator/Vice President of the Deer Valley Education Association Kelley Fischer. The speakers discussed the state’s massive teacher shortage and its effects on the future of Arizona, and urged lawmakers to invest in educators. View a recording here.

    • State Senator Christine Marsh: All of these programs that are part of the Build Back Better agenda will not only help new and veteran teachers but will also have an effect on Arizona families themselves. 

    • Marisol Garcia, Arizona Education Association: The Build Back Better agenda makes me feel like there is a little glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel over the last two years. We have the opportunity to rebuild our schools in a way that will benefit Arizona’s children and children across this country. For our congressional leaders, just remember our schools are in every single one of your districts and we are centers of your communities. We are asking for your support so we can continue to do the work that we are committed to.

    • Kelley Fischer, Deer Valley Education Association: The classroom teacher shortage is so impactful. We can’t hire enough teachers… The Build Back Better agenda is a huge stepping stone to getting us where we need to be with our teachers and everything else that we are short. And, it will impact our kids, which is the most important thing.
  • Invest in America Action called out Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) after he admitted that he did not read, yet still voted no on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which will provide much-needed investments in roads and bridges, public transit, broadband, and clean drinking water for Wisconsinites.

  • Invest in America highlighted data from the weekly unemployment report, noting that while the American Recovery Plan has strengthened the economy and brought U.S. jobless claims to a pandemic low, more public investment is needed to lower costs for middle-class Americans and create millions of good-paying jobs, bringing the American economy to full strength.

INVEST IN AMERICA COVERAGE

Crain’s Cleveland Business: Personal View: Infrastructure investment equals big returns
The United States has woefully under-invested in its infrastructure for decades. By now, it is no longer startling to read that America’s public infrastructure is near failing in many areas. That is a fact upon which there is near universal agreement. Despite that consensus, the question remains: What is the United States prepared to invest in, in order to build a 21st century infrastructure system?

A long-term infrastructure development plan, with a significant down payment on it, is required to ensure the U.S. remains the dominant economic superpower of the world, and to provide a basis for the next generation of family-sustaining jobs and widely shared prosperity. The U.S. must make these investments to compete with China and other countries that aspire to continue growing their economic influence. In 2018, American investment in infrastructure was only 0.5% of our GDP. By comparison, China invested 5.6% of its annual GDP in infrastructure in the same year. Make no mistake, China is following the United States’ playbook in pursuit of its industrialization and ascent as an economic player on the global stage. It is not a novel concept; the Unites States invented that playbook and it has propelled our country to a position of economic and political strength.

As Americans, we must collectively take pride that we are a country that manufactures things and takes on big challenges. If we resign ourselves to a false conclusion that the U.S. used to make things and that our future lies in developing apps and providing services while offshoring our manufacturing capabilities, we stand to forfeit our economic dominance. A game-changing investment in infrastructure would serve as a powerful signal that the U.S. recognizes and values its place as the dominant player in the global economy, and that America is prepared to invest to maintain that leadership position well into the future.

Infrastructure investment will generate huge returns for the American economy and workers. As the chairman, president and CEO of the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, I know that the right investments in infrastructure — with an emphasis on American materials, manufacturing and workers — will create good-paying jobs that sustain families and communities. I am a vocal supporter of inclusive capitalism — the belief that true capitalism is meant not to create billionaires but rather to build and support a large, strong and resilient middle class. An investment in infrastructure is an investment in good-paying union jobs, such as those provided by Cleveland-Cliffs. At Cleveland-Cliffs, we employ approximately 20,000 union workers and our median worker earns a wage and benefit package of $103,000 per year, the highest average compensation in the domestic steel industry. Infrastructure spending should be viewed not as an expenditure, but as an investment that will pay dividends to workers, their families and to the American society for decades to come.

As someone who believes deeply in America and its future promise, I have always been confident that the U.S. would overcome political division and make the right decision to invest in the future. The economic role and impact of infrastructure is universally acknowledged. The Bipartisan Framework is a good start to addressing our country’s needs in this area. By investing and rebuilding our infrastructure, we will reinvigorate our U.S. economy and create long-term value for all stakeholders — businesses, governments, communities and U.S. citizens. I urge our leaders in Washington, D.C. to quickly pass a wide-ranging infrastructure package, so we can do what Americans do best: Roll up our sleeves and get to work, for us now, for the next generation and for the next one.

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