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AFSCME cheers Senate passage of ‘once-in-a-generation’ infrastructure package

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AFSCME cheers Senate passage of ‘once-in-a-generation’ infrastructure package
By AFSCME Staff ·

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to approve a bipartisan infrastructure package that represents the largest investment in our country’s infrastructure in a generation.

It’s the kind of investment that AFSCME members have long sought. In a press release, AFSCME President Lee Saunders called the bill “a once-in-a-generation investment in rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, modernizing our transportation systems and improving public services everywhere.”

Among other things, the $1 trillion package would modernize and expand rail networks across the country; repair and rebuild our roads and bridges; build a national network of electric vehicle chargers; improve clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; provide reliable high-speed internet to all Americans; and upgrade our power infrastructure to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy.

Such investments, paid for by raising taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, would spur job creation to the tune of nearly two million jobs per year over the next decade.

The Senate vote was uncommonly bipartisan, 69-30.

“AFSCME members have been sounding the alarm for decades about the urgent need for this investment,” President Saunders also said. “This critical funding will finally allow essential public service workers to keep their communities safe and healthy by improving our highways, roads, bridges, public transit, water systems and so much more.”

The House of Representatives has yet to vote on the measure. If signed into law, it would be a huge win for President Biden, who made it a pillar of his Build Back Better agenda.

In addition to investing in our physical infrastructure, our country must also invest in our human infrastructure. Working families still need access to quality, affordable child care and home care, as well as paid family and medical leave.

Only by addressing our human infrastructure needs will our nation be “on the right course to truly build back better for everyone,” as Saunders put it.

Workers in America also need better labor protections and the ability to form strong labor unions without fear of employer retaliation.

AFSCME will continue to work with the White House and Congress on these and other priorities.

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