Biden’s American Jobs Plan would invest billions in rural areas

The proposal would bring housing aid, infrastructure work and internet access to counties...
The proposal would bring housing aid, infrastructure work and internet access to counties isolated from major cities.(Shane Battis)
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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Washington, D.C. (KOSA) -

The Biden administration is introducing a plan that would give a boost to Americans living in rural areas.

The American Jobs Plan is a $2.25 trillion proposal that’s designed to strengthen the economy, so we can compete better across the world.

A lot of the spending focuses on upkeep. That means more work repairing roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes as well as investing in housing.

White House Economic Advisor Heather Boushey said the proposal sets aside $2 billion to help renters in rural areas get access to decent homes.

“Housing is such a fundamental issue for American families,” she said. “It’s contingent on having a job, having enough income coming in so we’ve focused on that and making sure that those folks in need are getting the aid that they need to be able to stay in their home.”

The biggest buy for rural communities is internet access.

If passed, the plan would spend a whopping $100 billion to ensure affordable broadband access to all rural counties in the country.

Boushey said access to the internet is more important than ever as more businesses have had to plug into the online world to adapt to the pandemic.

“We’ve seen over the course of 2020 just how important that has been to making sure kids can be in school, to make sure people can telecommute or that people can talk to their doctor,” Boushey said. “If you don’t have access to broadband you can’t take advantage of those really important services.”

Another part of the proposal looks to make changes to energy production throughout the country. The administration wants to invest in green energy technology with a goal in mind to make all electricity carbon-free by 2035.

Of course, shakeups in the energy industry aren’t always welcome in West Texas, but Boushey said change is necessary to stay competitive.

“Other countries are already out competing us,” she said. “They’re making more batteries, they are at the forefront of technologies for green technology. We want to be a part of that future. We want to make sure we are not being left behind.”

Part of that process includes spending $10 billion to replace power plants with modern systems like nuclear or hydroelectric power.

At this point, the American Jobs Plan is still a proposal as it still has to be passed by Congress to go into effect.

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