Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday that millions of jobs will be created by President Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure and tax plan, insisting that another round of massive spending is needed.
“Now it’s time to prepare for the future and the millions of jobs that will be created by this bill are because this bill looks to the future,” Buttigieg said.
He made the comment one day after President Biden released a sprawling proposal to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and pump money into manufacturing, transportation, renewable energy and combating climate change.
Host Dana Perino asked Buttigieg if the bill passes, when he thinks new jobs would materialize. She asked the question following Biden’s energy actions, including the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project in January, resulted in the loss of jobs and economic opportunities for thousands of workers.
Buttigieg was asked to respond to a clip showing a West Virginia coal miner expressing concern about how coal jobs will be replaced if the administration moves toward wind, solar and green energy sources. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said earlier this year that coal workers and those in other fossil fuel industries have been fed a “false narrative” that climate policies kill their jobs. Kerry said “the same people” could find work in the clean energy industry.
“Coal jobs went down under the Trump Administration,” Buttigieg responded. “We got to have a better plan for the future of coal communities and the president has directed us to be very intentional about that so that’s why this bill includes provisions to make sure there are jobs in things like reclaiming mines or we know that there are a lot of areas where we’ve got wells that have to be capped.”
“That is going to require skilled work, union work and I think those kinds of jobs are among the millions of jobs that are being created,” he continued.
He also noted that “there are jobs that are being created as we speak … in things like the American auto industry, increasingly positioning itself to lead the way on electric vehicles.”
The eight-year initiative, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, comes on the heels of Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The White House said it will pay for the latest package by raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% — rolling back part of former President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts — and increasing the global minimum tax on U.S. corporations to 21% from 13%.
The White House said the latest plan includes $620 billion for roads, bridges and ports; $400 billion for elderly home care; $580 billion on job training, R&D and clean energy; and $650 billion on the electric grid, broadband and water systems.
In the $620 billion for roads bridges and ports, the White House lumps in $174 billion for electric vehicles — more than it is spending on any other individual item in that category.
The Biden administration is also planning a second major package, which could cost upward of $1 trillion. That measure, which will likely be funded by tax increases on wealthy Americans and will be unveiled this month, is expected to focus on domestic issues, such as expanding health care, providing universal kindergarten, extending the child tax credit and offering paid family leave.
Fox Business’ Megan Henney and Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.