INVEST IN AMERICA WEEKLY ROUNDUP

  • Invest in America Action organized a statement that was signed by nearly 160 advocacy groups calling for Congress to urgently reach a final consensus on the Build Back Better Act and send it to President Biden’s desk. Read the full statement and view its signers here.
  • Invest in America hosted a press conference with notable economists to discuss January’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s Lauren Melodia, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Kate Bahn, and Groundwork Collaborative’s Rakeen Mabud. The speakers emphasized the need to solve supply-side shortages, lower energy costs, and invest in workers and families, all of which would ease the economic burden of rising prices.

  • Invest in America sent a roundup of economic news highlighting how the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have boosted the economy to historic levels during the Biden-Harris administration’s first year in office, delivering record job growth, wage growth, and workforce participation.

  • Invest in America Action released a statement in response to the January jobs report, emphasizing that the expectation-exceeding report makes the past year the strongest 12-month period of job creation in U.S. history and calling on Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act’s critical public investments to build on the stunning success of President Biden’s economic agenda.

  • Invest in America Action released a statement highlighting data from the weekly unemployment report, which brought the four-week average for unemployment claims to its lowest point since 1973. The statement emphasized that the report is evidence of the historic economic recovery overseen by the Biden administration and that Congress needs to pass the Build Back Better Act’s historic investments to build on the past year’s progress and support American workers and families by lowering key costs.

  • Invest in America Action released a statement in response to January’s CPI report, noting that the data shows why Americans need the critical investments in the Build Back Better Act, which will lower costs for American families like child care, utility bills, health care, and prescription drugs.

  • Invest in America sent its inaugural “Beyond the Beltway” newsletter, a weekly highlight roundup of public investment projects being covered by local news and having a tangible impact on Americans and their communities. This week’s newsletter highlighted projects funded by the American Rescue Plan in Michigan, South Dakota, West Virginia, Maine, and Washington, which made improvements in drinking water, affordable housing, education, and more.

INVEST IN AMERICA COVERAGE

The American Independent: 159 advocacy groups band together to push for Biden’s Build Back Better plan

While Congress has shifted its attention to more pressing matters, like Russia’s growing aggression toward Ukraine and a vacancy on the Supreme Court, advocacy groups haven’t forgotten about Build Back Better. A coalition of 159 labor unions and advocacy groups led by the organization Invest In America is calling on Congress to advance the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

The diverse array of advocacy groups includes Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, the Economic Policy Institute, Faith in Public Life, Indivisible, Iron Workers, Latino Victory, the League of Conservation Voters, MomsRising, MoveOn, Our Revolution, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Sierra Club, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. The coalition includes some of the country’s largest labor unions representing millions of American workers, including builders, nurses, educators, and service sector employees.

[…] “While extraordinary progress has been made with the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we all agree that more can, and should, be done,” the groups say in a joint statement released Thursday. “Families continue to face challenges that necessitate bold action. The policies President Biden has outlined in the Build Back Better Act will make historic investments to cut costs for families and create millions of good-paying jobs, fully paid for by making sure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of taxes.”

Cheddar: Inflation Numbers Are Up, but Economists Say Take Them With a Grain of Salt

Inflation was hotter than expected in January, but the debate over what this means for the economy is getting even hotter as markets brace for a flurry of Fed rate hikes in 2022 […] “Because of how this number was calculated, every economist knew it was going to be high, even if there was no inflation between this month and last,” said Lauren Melodia, deputy director of macroeconomic analysis at the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. In other words, that year-over-year number includes significantly higher rates of month-over-month inflation going back to the beginning of 2021. What is more important to look at now, she said, is what happened in the last month. “Between December and January, the overall inflation rate stayed the same at 0.6 percent,” Melodia said. “This is actually a deceleration from the spike we saw of 0.9 percent inflation last October.”

Quartz: The products where inflation is staying hot—and cooling off

The US’s January inflation report shows that the economy has ironed out some pandemic disruptions—but is still very much mired in others. Inflation climbed 0.6% on the month on the back of price increases for food, electricity, and shelter. The annual inflation rate was 7.5%, the highest in nearly 40 years. Still, some economists say January’s inflation report shows signs that supply chains upended by covid-19 are on the mend. “We expected that the highest shopping season of the year globally from Christmas to the Lunar New Year would mean that more consumer demand was going to keep inflation rising at this stage, but we’re seeing it level off,” said Lauren Melodia, deputy director of macroeconomic analysis at the Roosevelt Institute.

Fortune: It seems like the U.S labor market just plowed right through Omicron surge

Like a snowplow cleaning up the roads, the U.S. workforce pushed through the January surge of Omicron cases without missing a beat, adding 467,000 workers to the payrolls last month. Friday’s jobs report crushed expectations that employers would pull back on hiring in January as new COVID cases topped 1 million several times last month and are still generating nearly 300,000 new infections a day this week […] It seems a clear indication that the effects from Omicron will be “temporary,” says Lauren Melodia, deputy director of macroeconomic analysis at the Roosevelt Institute. “This Omicron disruption has been really quick and severe. It is absolutely different from the first shutdown where we decided to lock down our society, shut down businesses, and kind of hunker down for what we expected to be a long recession,” Melodia tells Fortune. 

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