PRESS RELEASE: SEN. MARKEY, SEN. WYDEN: LATEST UNSERIOUS GOP COUNTER-PROPOSAL BRINGS WATERING CAN TO FIVE-ALARM FIRE, FAILS TO MEET THE MOMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2021

Contact: 
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

SEN. MARKEY, SEN. WYDEN: LATEST UNSERIOUS GOP COUNTER-PROPOSAL BRINGS WATERING CAN TO FIVE-ALARM FIRE, FAILS TO MEET THE MOMENT

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): “If you ask for my reaction to the Republican proposal, I’d say it’s heavy on the budget sleight of hand and light on anything except paving over the status quo.”

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA): “With their latest infrastructure proposal, Republicans are robbing Peter to pay Paul but leaving both of them poorer in the process.”

GOP Counter-Proposal Only 13% of President Biden’s Proposal, Guts Essential Funding For Clean Energy, Care Infrastructure, School Construction, Veterans’ Hospitals & Leaves One Million Jobs On The Table

Senate Republicans’ Proposal Would Raid Covid Relief Funding Meant to Keep Essential Workers Like Firefighters and Police on the Job; Gut Child Tax Credit; Raise Health Insurance Premiums By Cutting Obamacare Subsidies In Order To Shift the Tax Burden Off Corporations

Today, 14 State Treasurers Signed a Letter Urging Their Congressional Delegations to Reject GOP Calls To Raid Covid Relief Funds To Finance Infrastructure Investment

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Senate Republicans brought President Biden an unserious proposal that is only one-fourth the promised size in new spending. Their unreasonable counter-proposal raids Covid relief funds meant to keep essential workers on the job, raises healthcare premiums, and guts funding for the Child Tax Credit —  all while leaving at least one million jobs on the table, and stripping funding to fight climate change, prioritize care infrastructure, build schools, and invest in American jobs and industries.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) made the following statements in response to the proposal on a press call organized by Invest in America Action:

“If you ask for my reaction to the Republican proposal, I’d say it’s heavy on the budget sleight of hand and light on anything except paving over the status quo,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “When you look at this proposal, there’s no ’there’ there. Just so we’re clear: this notion that you can go out and raid Covid relief investments is just not correct. Democrats are showing up every single day, but unfortunately we’ve got Republican colleagues who are just walking off the playing field.”

“With their latest infrastructure proposal, Republicans are robbing Peter to pay Paul but leaving both of them poorer in the process,” said Senator Ed Markey. “Republicans are bringing a watering can to a five-alarm fire. Simply counting money that is already going out the door through the surface transportation programs we are going to pass doesn’t invest in our future or fix the crisis of our present. Let me be crystal clear: no meaningful climate action means no deal with the Democrats. I would love to see Republicans come to the table to work with us, but I’m not going to be holding my breath for them to show up to pass a real infrastructure and relief package.”

The latest Republican infrastructure plan would shortchange economic recovery in the states by raiding the American Rescue Plan funding that was meant to keep essential workers on the job. 

  • Underfunding the economic recovery in the states would put a drag on the country’s economy. In 2009, Republicans cut billions of dollars of state and local aid from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the results were devastating: 
    • States were forced to make disastrous cuts to education. Ten years after the great recession, state financial spending for higher education was still down 13%. In 2016, funding for K-12 education was lower in 29 states than it had been in 2008 — down at least 10% in nine of those states.
    • In the wake of the recession, state aid to localities was down by 5.3% — putting a strain on local budgets and exposing cities to greater risk of financial problems.
    • Overall, it took nearly a decade for state and local governments to return to pre-crisis employment levels. 
  • Repurposing Covid relief funding would result in a massive loss of revenue for large and small communities alike, at precisely the moment they need to be doing everything to get our economy going again
    • Funding from the Plan is enabling large cities, small towns and rural communities alike to get back on their feet despite significantly lower tax revenues.
    • These funds are keeping police, teachers, and firefighters on the job, addressing cyber security and technology challenges exposed by the pandemic, and keeping programs and systems in place that Americans across the country rely on. 
The GOP’s counter-proposal strips the funding in President Biden’s plan for job-creating investments in schools, caregiving, manufacturing, and clean energy, potentially preventing the creation of at least 1 million jobs and hurting American competitiveness.

Schools

  • The GOP plan cuts $137 billion in funding to upgrade and build new public schools, community college infrastructure, and child-care facilities.
  • Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated school infrastructure in the U.S. with a “D+” rating — and 28 million American students attend schools nationwide that need one or more building extensively repaired, overhauled, or replaced.
  • Research has shown “there is strong evidence that high-quality infrastructure facilitates better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates.” Our school buildings’ structural faults “are significantly related to worse student achievement.” As such, proposals to eliminate school infrastructure investment are proposals to stunt our children’s educational growth and development.
Caregiving
Clean Energy: 
  • The American Jobs Plan would create between 1 million and 1.2 million jobs per year through investments in clean energy, according to Robert Polling, economics professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
  • Experts have applauded the American Jobs Plan’s clean energy investments as “a significant step in meeting our collective clean energy goals.” Eliminating these investments would only worsen climate change and prevent us from achieving the clean environmental future we need.
  • By stripping investments in clean energy, the GOP plan would forfeit more than 1 million jobs and inhibit our fight against climate change. 
A multi-trillion dollar investment in infrastructure will create jobs and turbocharge the economy.
  • S&P Global estimates that $2 trillion investment in public infrastructure over 10 years would create 2.3 million jobs, grow personal income by $2,400, boost household spending by $3.5 trillion, and inject $5.7 trillion to the U.S economy — that’s 10 times what was lost during the Great Recession.
  • More than half of the millions of jobs created by infrastructure investments would go to blue collar workers without a college degree.
  • The time is right for a big investment — a $2 trillion infrastructure investment now could mean that each dollar spent will have a return of $2.70, according to S&P.
  • In 2017, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimated that a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could create 11 million jobs.
“Infrastructure pays for itself if it’s done wisely. It’s the grease that keeps the economy moving along.” 
— Beth Ann Bovino, Chief U.S. Economist
at S&P Global 

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

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