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During her visit to UW-Milwaukee, Vice President Kamala Harris talks about broadband, investing in research and development in the US jobs plan.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I applaud President Biden’s leadership and look forward to working together to improve our infrastructure and our economy.

The end of the coronavirus pandemic in sight and the Biden administration continues to take swift and bold action, presenting a series of landmark investment proposals aimed at rebuilding and stimulating the U.S. economy. Des Moines and Iowa will benefit greatly from the US presidential jobs plan.

In the most recent report on infrastructure published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Iowa received a C. The U.S. Jobs Plan is about attacking U.S. infrastructure, improving highways, broadband access, veterans health and everything in between.

The American Jobs Plan proposes a series of capital investments at a crucial time in our history. The comprehensive proposal would both restore the US economy and help America outperform China. It is essential to strengthen our investments in research and development so that we can manufacture products for the 21st century and create well-paying union jobs. Manufacturers account for nearly 19% of total Iowa production, employing 228,000 workers, or 14% of the state’s workforce.

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Because it is a top priority, the American Jobs Plan will invest $ 300 billion to retool and revitalize American manufacturers.

The plan will also increase access to rural and historically underserved communities and make America’s transportation system safer and more reliable. Residents of Des Moines who take public transportation spend 30% more of their time traveling, and households of color are almost four times more likely to travel by public transit. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an investment of $ 85 billion.

Structural issues such as the quality of bridges, railways and highways, combined with extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms, heavy rains and extreme temperature variations, make infrastructure improvements crucial for safety and security. well-being of our community. From 2010 to 2020, Iowa experienced 32 extreme weather events, which cost the state up to $ 50 billion in damage. The President is asking for $ 50 billion to improve the resilience of our infrastructure and support the recovery of communities after a disaster.

The proposed investments are presented in a forward-looking manner that will not only create jobs, but also advance equity and reaffirm the fight against climate change. In 2019, 32,057 Iowans were working in clean energy, and the U.S. Jobs Plan invests in creating well-paying union jobs advancing clean energy production by extending and expanding tax credits for clean energy production, carbon capture and sequestration, and clean energy production. .

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The town of Des Moines will benefit from this unique influx of capital at all levels. Iowa has 4,571 bridges and hundreds of miles of poor freeways; there is no shortage of projects in which to invest funds. Since 2011, commute times have increased by nearly 7% in Iowa, and on average, each driver pays $ 336 per year in additional vehicle repair costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. U.S. Jobs Plan to Spend Over $ 600 Billion to Transform Our Nations’ Transportation Infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $ 115 billion to repair and upgrade roads and bridges.

Broadband is a critical piece of infrastructure in today’s interconnected world. Americans need high-quality, reliable broadband access to compete inside and outside our borders. The American Jobs Plan would invest $ 100 billion to provide universal, reliable, broadband, and affordable coverage to every family in America. Today, more than 13% of Iowa residents live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that offers minimally acceptable speeds. In addition, 61% of Iowans live in areas where there is only one such supplier. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband can be too expensive to reach. It is unacceptable that 16% of Iowa households do not have an Internet subscription, and I commend President Biden for making this a key priority.

Iowa is home to more than 206,000 veterans, including 7% women and 53% of them are over 65 years old. The President is asking for $ 18 billion to improve the infrastructure of Veterans Affairs health facilities to ensure the delivery of world-class, cutting-edge care to veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. This includes improvements to ensure appropriate care for women and older veterans.

I applaud President Biden’s leadership and look forward to working together to improve our infrastructure and our economy for Des Moines, Iowa and all Americans.

Frank Cownie has been Mayor of Des Moines since 2004.

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