By Nandini Pillai Kuehn
It is hard to understand why we don’t give a standing ovation to President Joe Biden for what he has done in the last 2 years. His ability to articulate a vision has shaped the legislation around COVID and around key infrastructure and program issues that have been neglected or merely talked about for decades. He and Congress have worked well to deliver for us.
Three months after his election, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (in March of 2021) which allocated $1.9 trillion to a huge variety of pandemic-related responses and costs: state and local funding to cope with problems on the ground, healthcare impact of COVID, COVID’s downstream impact on education and childcare, transportation, unemployment, support for businesses, for loans and unemployment assistance.
Then came the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Nov. 2021) which received bipartisan support and provided $65 billion to address crumbling bridges and roads, upgrade airports, power infrastructure, and also clean drinking water, public transportation, and internet access–with special attention to places where people of color were disproportionately affected.
More recently, President Biden signed four more extraordinary bills into law, three of them with bi-partisan support. PBS news reported that this is the first time in decades that a sitting Congress has been so productive in the summer preceding a midterm election. Here’s the list:
- Safer communities, $13 billion on Gun Safety–bipartisan
- CHIPS Plus, $79 billion, designed to bring chip manufacturing back to the USA–bipartisan
- PACT ACT, $280 billion–bipartisan, for Veterans exposed to health care risks due to toxin exposure from burn pits in the Middle East
- Inflation Reduction Act, $500-$700 billion, passed with only Democratic support. Funding in this bill addressed climate change, water, Medicare prescriptions, and insurance premium subsidies; 15% tax increase on corporate profits reported to shareholders; IRS funding to go after tax cheats
For people whining about his age – what more could you want? Of course he’s productive, he’s a Democrat. Remember? We Deliver