April 14, 2021 12:01 pm
On March 31, the White House released a framework for a $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package that aims to improve the nation’s transportation, renewable energy, and manufacturing infrastructure, including significant funding for scientific research. According to a White House fact sheet, the American Jobs Plan will include funds to “create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.” The Association of American Universities (AAU) issued a statement about the bill, saying it would “help undo years of neglect to the foundation of America’s scientific and innovation leadership by ramping up investments in basic science, critical technologies, research infrastructure, innovation incubators, and manufacturing.”
The AAU summary of the American Jobs Plan outlines specific provisions of interest to research universities:
- $300 billion for innovation, commercialization, and manufacturing;
- $180 billion for research and development and the technologies of the future;
- $100 billion to build high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100 percent coverage;
- $40 billion for high demand sector-based training programs; and
- $12 billion for community college facilities and technology.
A visual breakdown of the infrastructure plan can be found here.
This is the first of two plans the Administration will release as part of its “build back better” agenda. The administration is expected to release a second plan in April that will reportedly total $1 trillion and include proposals to expand health care, extend the child tax credit, and expand access to K-12 and higher education, including proposals for universal preschool and free community college. The second plan is expected to include tax increases for the highest income earners to offset proposed new expenditures.