President Joe Biden recently unveiled the American Jobs Plan to address critical infrastructure needs. The plan calls for $2.25 trillion in investment over eight years. Improvements would be made to U.S. roads, waterways, broadband infrastructure, as well as the electrical grid through the plan. In a statement from the White House, the administration said the plan is a historic investment to create millions of jobs and better position the U.S. to compete against other countries.
“The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-century capital investment in America that will meet our current infrastructure needs and invests in a brighter future,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “It is clear in the American Jobs Plan that USDA is central to the President’s strategy to build a strong economy for working people, restore the safety and integrity of our nation’s infrastructure from broadband to water to power and electricity, and to renew America’s leadership in science, research and development.”
The plan includes significant provisions for rural America. Among other things, it provides up to $100 billion for broadband infrastructure. More than 35 percent of rural Americans lack access to quality broadband services. The American Jobs Plan aims to provide affordable broadband coverage to all of rural America. Funding will be prioritized for broadband networks of local governments, non-profits, and rural cooperatives. An additional $100 billion will be used for making the electrical grid more resilient.
A total of $111 billion will also be used to address water infrastructure. Of that total, $56 billion will be earmarked for improvements to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. Additionally, $50 billion will be invested in disaster resilience. The American Jobs Plan includes investments in drought resilience technology for ag producers. The proposed plan also calls for an extension of federal research and development funding and more investment in science research through USDA.