AFSCME President Lee Saunders joins signing ceremony of historic infrastructure bill

AFSCME President Lee Saunders on Monday joined President Joe Biden and members of his administration, as well as a bipartisan group of lawmakers, for the signing ceremony of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“I’ve just returned from the South Lawn at the White House where I participated in the signing ceremony for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” Saunders wrote in a Facebook post. “This new law makes historic investments in infrastructure and will create jobs for public service workers all over this nation. These are investments in our futures, in our families’ futures, and I’m so proud of the work AFSCME members did to make it possible.”

The law represents the largest investment in American history in public transit, passenger rail and clean drinking water. Among other things, it will help communities across the country repair and modernize their physical infrastructure and ensure that every American has access to high-speed internet. Read what’s in the bill here.

The investments made by the law include:

  • $110 billion in new funding for roads, bridges and major projects;
  • $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water for households, businesses, schools and child care centers across the country, including funding to replace lead pipes;
  • $65 billion to help ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet;
  • $66 billion in rail infrastructure, in addition to transit modernization funding;
  • $39 billion in new money to modernize public transit (separate from rail);
  • $17 billion in port infrastructure and waterways;
  • $25 billion in airports.

“The passage of this bill is a watershed moment that is a long time coming,” Saunders said earlier this month after the House of Representatives voted to approve the bill. “It will create good union jobs, providing the shot in the arm our economy and our communities need. It will improve quality of life for all of us – everyone who drives on our roads, who rides public transit, who buys goods that pass through our ports, who depends on clean drinking water and a reliable power grid.”

AFSCME has long supported such investments in our nation’s physical infrastructure, and our union is calling on similar investments in human infrastructure.

The Build Back Better Act currently under consideration in Congress would make historic investments in child care, lowering costs for millions of families, improving care and raising pay for providers; confront climate change by investing in clean energy while creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs; and make affordable housing a reality for millions of middle-class families, among other things.

AFSCME members helped elect Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and we helped make the American Rescue Plan a reality. The signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is another huge win for working families across the country.

Our union will continue to work closely with the Biden administration to support our shared priorities in the Build Back Better agenda.