By Isaac Cohen*
In these days, the following does not happen often in Washington. President Joseph Biden signed into law the $1 trillion infrastructure program for the decade, approved by Congress with bipartisan support. As described by President Biden, it is a “once-in-a-generation investment to create good-paying jobs, modernize our infrastructure, and turn the climate crisis into an opportunity.”
The bipartisan approval included the votes of 19 Senators in August and 13 Representatives last week, all from the Republican Party. Among them the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the legislation was “good for the country and I’m glad it passed.” (The Wall Street Journal 11/15/21). The legislation includes investments in roads, bridges, water systems, clean energy and communications technology.
However, despite this accomplishment, the White House has seen the job approval of the president drop. Additionally, the Labor Department revealed an increase in consumer prices of 0.9 percent in October, from 0.4 percent in September, up 6.2 percent from last year. Excluding more volatile food and energy prices, the increase was 4.6 percent since last year, the highest increase in thirty years in both indexes.
This inflationary burst is generating opposition against the approval of another package of almost $2 trillion, known as the Build Back Better Act, mainly dedicated to finance social infrastructure, which does not have bipartisan support.
*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.