What the infrastructure bill means to auto workers

The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the U.S. Senate and has gone onto the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested the House will not consider the bill unless the Senate also advances the reconciliation bill that triples the investment of the infrastructure bill to include strengthening of childcare, housing and healthcare.

United Auto Workers Legislative Representative Desiree Hoffman joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill would mean for working families.

A question of healthcare

Hoffman is happy the infrastructure bill passed the Senate, and she hopes the House will soon pass the bill. If the bill becomes law, it will mean a considerable investment in America’s roads and bridges.

Hoffman said she is hopeful the $3 trillion reconciliation bill passes as well, and hopes it includes language advancing healthcare. The UAW has long encouraged the expansion of Medicare and efforts to lower the price of prescription drugs because these issues are beneficial to its members.

Hoffman wants to see the age for Medicare eligibility lowered to 60. While some Republicans argue such efforts mirror socialist policy, Hoffman said her members see through these arguments because they understand the importance of healthcare.

Questions on funding infrastructure and encouraging American electric vehicle investment

She also discussed efforts to fund the infrastructure bill. Democrats wanted to pursue IRS litigation and clamp down on tax fraud, particularly among the rich. Republicans pushed back on this and instead decided to fund the bill through other methods, including the utilization of unused COVID-19 funds.

Hoffman said she wants to see language in the reconciliation bill addressing electric vehicles, which is a huge priority for the UAW. China is currently outpacing the U.S. in the production of electric vehicles. Hoffman wants to make any electric vehicle rebate tied to union jobs, and the credit go only towards electric vehicles made in the U.S. by union workers.


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