President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better framework was passed by the Democratic-controlled House last Friday, allocating roughly $2.2 trillion to climate change, health, and child care, among others. Much of the country`s economic progress is due to the Democrats’ COVID relief package. The Biden administration hopes to build upon that progress along with the bipartisan infrastructure law.
But it also has something beneficial for communities impacted by the Trump Administration’s recession and the subsequent struggle to find work during a seemingly endless pandemic: an array of “place-based” programs targeted at helping particular places and their residents thrive, rather than helping people more generally wherever they live.
Included in the $2.2 trillion bill are numerous place-based programs aimed at combating the nation’s epidemic of uneven development, with spatially targeted funding that would promote a more equitable distribution of economic growth across the country to bolster communities as a whole, particularly those often overlooked and marginalized by Republicans.
Today I’m thankful that the #BuildBackBetter Act includes my Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which invests in advancing maternal health equity. I’m proud that the House passed this legislation to save moms’ lives.
— Rep. Lauren Underwood (@RepUnderwood) November 25, 2021
Some programs would focus on investing hundreds of millions of dollars in regional tech hubs, manufacturing institutes, and regional industry clusters, increasing local employment opportunities. Other programs would provide block grants so distressed labor markets can expand job availabilities. And still others would channel multiyear investments into communities to help with energy and industrial transitions, community revitalization, and rural partnerships.
At the same time, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits just fell to the lowest level since 1969, dropping to 199,000. President Biden said those numbers reinforce, “the historic economic progress we are making and the importance of building on that progress.”
— Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (@RepGonzalez) November 19, 2021
Sitting in for Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word” Wednesday night, “The Sunday Show” host Jonathan Capehart hosted Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX), who spoke to how the new bill would impact his community and other Latinx and Latino-American communities across the country, as well as the challenges Democrats in Texas face due to gerrymandering by Texas Republicans including Gov. Greg Abbott.
.@RepGonzalez (D-TX) joins @CapehartJ to discuss how the Biden social policy bill will impact Latinx communities across the country, and the challenges Democrats in Texas face due to gerrymandering by Texas Republicans including Gov. Greg Abbott. https://t.co/5iifzQbnnW pic.twitter.com/jQX6bztwyr
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) November 25, 2021
Watch their discussion, below.