The Investment and Jobs Act Will Help Reduce Poverty
Updated: Jan 21
I’m delighted by the bipartisan enactment of the Investment and Jobs Act. It includes major components that will disproportionately benefit low-income people, partly by allowing them to EARN more money:
The biggest investment in public transportation in many years. Low-income people and people of color tend to rely heavily on public transportation. Better connections between low-income neighborhoods and employment centers are especially important.
High-speed internet access for all Americans. This will create economic opportunity in low-income communities, notably depressed rural communities.
Replacement of all the lead pipes in homes and schools. This will save lots of our children from the crippling effects of lead in drinking water.
Good, union jobs. Nearly all the jobs created by this legislation will not require education beyond high school, which should further improve the job market for low-income workers generally.
Sustainable economic growth. Natural disasters and economic slumps hit low-income people hardest, and this massive, environmentally conscious investment in infrastructure will contribute to sustained prosperity for all Americans.
I’m also proud that the church bodies and national ministries in the Circle of Protection have been advocates for passage of this bipartisan legislation. We are now pushing together for action on the Build Back Better legislation. Not all the church groups agree on everything in the bill, but we are all focused on protecting components that are especially important to people in poverty: the Child Tax Credit, federal health insurance for the two million people who can’t afford health insurance in that states that have not expanded Medicaid, and housing vouchers for hundreds of thousands of families.
Finally, I’m excited to see the videos coming out from the truly excellent guest presenters to my Union class. I pray that they reach lots of people, and that the people who watch them find the videos helpful. What’s happening in Congress right now is a clear demonstration of the importance of what these videos are about - building stronger political will to reduce poverty. It’s been wonderful to see Congress passing legislation that will make our economy more just and sustainable, but their struggles in doing so demonstrate the need for yet broader political support for these purposes.