The U.S. House of Representatives passed one of the largest economic stimulus bills in U.S. history on March 10, the $1.9 trillion economic rescue bill. According to Reuters, since the U.S. Senate passed the bill on March 6, this means goodbye. Den won his first major victory since taking office. Biden tweeted that “aid is coming.” The White House said that Biden will formally sign the bill on the 12th. The US CNBC website reported on the 10th that at the time when Congress passed the stimulus bill, Biden was ready to announce the launch of a larger stimulus plan aimed at improving infrastructure in multiple areas such as roads and communications.
The biggest infrastructure plan after Roosevelt’s New Deal
U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen said in a statement that the passage of the bill is a crucial day for the U.S. economy and will accelerate the recovery of the U.S. economy. The US$400 billion in this bill provides most Americans with a direct payment of US$1,400 per person, and US$350 billion is used to assist state and local governments, expand tax credits for children, and increase funding for vaccine distribution.
According to Bloomberg News, the new stimulus package “may be the largest infrastructure plan in the United States since Roosevelt’s New Deal,” or it may include the construction of roads, bridges, and rural broadband Internet. According to Reuters, it is unclear what the infrastructure plan specifically includes, but Biden assured that “large-scale infrastructure reform will be the next policy priority.” The bill may be passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at the end of May. It may be signed into law as early as the end of September this year as part of Biden’s broader economic recovery plan. CNBC reported that Biden warned last month that if it does not make major investments, the United States may lose its advantage over rival China. He emphasized that “China is investing billions of dollars to deal with a series of issues such as transportation and the environment.”
American Generation Z hopes to build high-speed rail
In fact, local infrastructure investment, such as the construction of high-speed rail, has a wide range of recognition among Generation Z groups in the United States. According to a report on March 10 by the US Vox News Network, in January this year, an American young man posted an envisioned US high-speed rail plan on Twitter, with a high-speed rail network traversing east-west and north-south. This tweet quickly became popular, receiving 185,000 “likes” and more than 50,000 reposts. According to Vox, this is the popularity of high-speed rail among Gen Z. But the article also pointed out that in the United States, it will take decades to build a high-speed rail network like this one. “Many major challenges hindered the launch of the high-speed rail project: the interstate nature of the project, opposition from the Republican Party and the corporate world, and lack of resources.”
“How much will infrastructure projects play in the U.S. economy?” ForConstructionPros., a portal site in the U.S. engineering and construction sector, published an article under this heading in January this year, stating that infrastructure investment provides an opportunity to revitalize the U.S. economy. The article stated that since 1998, American infrastructure has been awarded an average d level by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). “The U.S. roads, bridges, water transportation and other fields have always been at a lower level, putting the U.S. economy in an unfortunate position.” The ASCE report analyzes that the positive impact of infrastructure investment on the economy will run through all sectors of the economy.
“If we fail to take action on infrastructure, we will continue to pay the price,” said Thomas Smith, the executive director of ASCE. “Drivers will encounter traffic jams, and the cost of doing business across the country will increase, and these costs will be passed on to the Americans.” The article stated that reliable and modern infrastructure is the basis for the economic growth of communities. If the infrastructure gap cannot be resolved as a whole, the US economy is expected to lose more than $10.3 trillion in GDP by 2039.
The Trump Administration’s “Leading Lessons”
The Brookings Institution, an American think tank, issued an article in February this year, stating that the Trump administration’s trillion-dollar infrastructure plan had almost no tangible results. At that time, American governors, mayors, county administrators, and members of Congress were eager to come up with wise policies to improve infrastructure, but ultimately failed.
According to the article, the Trump administration’s initial infrastructure strategy seems clear: Make a list of projects first, then borrow at the interest rate of US Treasury bonds, and directly fund projects based on investment returns. However, the drafters of the plan were not familiar with the link between infrastructure and the US federal government, which only owns about 6% of the US transportation and water infrastructure. “The federal government is not the owner, but the funder and regulator.”
The National Broadcasting Corporation said that the infrastructure plan promoted by the Biden administration will include “a broader field of infrastructure than before,” such as the energy and climate field. Senator Jim Inhoff said, “Infrastructure projects have always required huge budget support, and this is not easy.”
According to the analysis on the CNBC website, the Biden government’s promotion of the infrastructure plan also needs to address the different demands of trade unions and environmentalists. “The infrastructure plan will involve both energy and climate issues and employment issues. The above two groups may oppose each other.”