The passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is welcome news for America’s working families.
The $65 billion in the IIJA to support the expansion and affordability of broadband will help close the digital divide. For the first time, the bill prioritizes broadband projects from employers who follow labor law. That means that the funding will create good, sustainable jobs in our communities. CWA members are eager to begin this buildout and to support the deployment. We are working with state legislators and regulators to make sure that the funds are distributed to projects that deliver the speed and reliability that customers need and that the companies that receive the funds are held to high standards.
Additionally, to address the nation’s airports and air traffic control facilities, the IIJA allocates $25 billion for airport improvement projects, airport terminal development, and Federal Aviation Administration facilities and equipment. This will help make our airports safer for travellers and for the CWA passenger service agents and flight attendants who ensure that our air travel runs smoothly.
Finally, the inclusion of the Build America, Buy America Act in the IIJA will close the loopholes in and provide more transparency into our domestic procurement laws, helping to ensure that our tax dollars are supporting American jobs.
These investments are much needed but they are not enough. Congress must act quickly to pass the Build Back Better Act to ease the burdens of the pandemic and help working families and retirees build a better future.