A $550 billion bi-partisan infrastructure bill, expected to soon go to a vote in the Senate, would deliver substantial improvements to roads, bridges, and sewage systems in Ohio — not to mention create jobs for Ohio workers, if passed.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the bill, the improvements it would bring to Ohio and the fact the bill includes language from the Build America, Buy America Act. Brown pushed the Build America, Buy America Act, which ensures American taxpayer dollars are used to buy American-made iron, steel and manufactured products for any federally funded infrastructure projects.
How to pay for the bill?
Brown pointed out that Republicans were concerned with how to pay for the bill. Democrats argued the bill could be paid by pursuing corporate tax cheats. The IRS estimates that $10 in tax revenue can be gained for every $1 spent pursuing tax fraud.
Brown said these efforts could easily net $100 billion, and maybe three to four times that amount.
Republicans opposed these efforts, and instead chose to pursue fraud related to unemployment compensation. Brown stated that most problems related to unemployment were caused by obsolete state programs that could not handle the influx of applicants in the wake of COVID-19, with only a handful of cases being actual fraud.
Regardless, the potential passage of the infrastructure bill is great news, as it will leverage hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild roads and bridges in Ohio, Brown said.
Rebuilding America with American labor and materials
Brown is particularly excited that the bill includes language from the Build America, Buy America Act. He pursued this legislation that essentially mandates U.S. tax dollars that go to rebuild roads, bridges and sewers, must use U.S. labor and materials made in America. This is great news for unions, Brown said.
Another bill, which Brown doubts will get much Republican support, will be pushed to address education, broadband and working families. These efforts are necessary in order to give working class families a better stake in this economy, he said.
Brown also discussed upcoming legislation designed to lower the cost of rent for working families and avoid eviction.