Biden’s American Jobs Plan: Splintered but not Broken
On Tuesday, August 10, the Senate passed with bi-partisan support a pared down version of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP). The $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure bill passed overwhelmingly by a vote of sixty-nine for and thirty against. Fortunately, Idaho Senators Crapo and Risch both voted in favor of the bill, proving that bipartisanship is not dead.
The approved legislation carved out elements of Biden’s AJP that deal with traditional infrastructure. For example, it invests in roads, bridges, and related projects. It also provides money for public transit and rail development. In addition, it includes funding for airports, ports, and waterway improvements as well as other projects.
Now, that the Senate has voted, the House must pass the bill. However, progressives like Representative Ocasio-Cortez are holding off on supporting the measure until the remaining items in the AJP are addressed. This includes investments in public and commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency and resilience. It also includes funds to shore up our care economy by improving wages and benefits for home care workers as well as other social investments.
The key will be securing the votes on both sides of the aisle to get both bills approved. Our friend from neighboring Washington, Representative Pramila Jayapal said “We know that Congressional Democrats are committed to delivering immediate and transformational improvements for the lives of the American people and will hold firm to meet that promise.” So far, so good!
Optional Forms of Government Study Commission
I have already mentioned the Commission to explore Optional Forms of Government in Kootenai County. As a reminder, this appointed commission is considering alternatives to our county government’s current three-member board of county commissioners. This study is ongoing. When completed, it offers an opportunity to revise the structure of county government in ways that protect us from the domination of one-party rule.
If left unchecked, we know that the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will continue to politicize every level of public administration. For example, they used these tactics to undermine the North Idaho College Board of Trustees. In addition, they have applied their political influence by subjecting nonpartisan candidates to a GOP litmus test before endorsing them to run for purely administrative positions. As a result, rather than putting the most qualified person forward, their candidates are chosen solely on party purity.
Ideally, the Commission will confirm that a new form of government is needed. One that serves and protects the interests of the entire community. However, it is up to us to remain focused on the process and invested in communicating our desires. You can educate yourself about our county government and this study commission at Optional Forms of Government Study Commission | Kootenai County, ID (kcgov.us). You can also leave a message for the commissioners at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let them know that we want a form of county government that preserves integrity and nonpartisanship. The citizens of Kootenai County will thank you.
We are Recruiting Precinct Captains
Attention present and future Precinct Captains! You are needed now more than ever, and we are preparing online resources to help you succeed. Although the details are still coming together, rest assured that we have your back. We are excited about this initiative and will announce the details soon.
Have a terrific week.