The Biden administration is working diligently to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill to boost the economy, lower unemployment and improve the quality of life within the U.S.
United Auto Workers Legislative Director Josh Nassar joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the multifaceted American Jobs Plan, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) news, voting rights and more.
Building back better with infrastructure
Nassar explained how U.S. manufacturing needs to have a great revival, as China has bypassed the U.S. as the world’s leading manufacturing nation. It will be important to at least manufacture infrastructure related materials onshore in the U.S. We already have manufacturing structures, which can be renovated for modern use.
He also said Democrats need to stay tough when it comes to infrastructure. It is wildly popular and Republicans are doing everything they can to prevent a perceived win for President Biden. The main area of disagreement comes from funding. Republicans seek to protect corporations and the wealthiest Americans from a slight tax increase, while Democrats are in favor of the plan.
Nassar went on to explain how infrastructure has changed over past decades. In addition to traditional roads and bridges, infrastructure now includes things like the electric grid, broadband access, school improvements and more. Republicans continue to resist these ideas, instead focusing their plan on roads and bridges.
Focusing on the NLRB and voting rights
Since day one of the Biden administration, they have been working on making the NLRB more worker friendly. The first step was the firing of former NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb and now, appointed a new member to the board.
While they have appointed one member, former President Trump appointees still hold the majority until August. These board members were typically corporate lawyers or other corporate friendly people.
Finally, Nassar said both Democrats and Republicans are focusing on voting laws. Congressional Democrats are working to pass the For the People Act, a federal law. Meanwhile Republican dominated state majorities are taking it upon themselves to pass laws that Democrats say are restrictive and make voting difficult for people living in more populated areas.