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What They Are Reading in the States: Cabinet Members Tout Infrastructure, Jobs, and Build Back Better Nationwide

August 13, 2021

As key pieces of President Biden's agenda cleared the Senate this week, members of President Biden's Cabinet fanned out across the country to discuss how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and Build Back Better agenda together will create good-paying jobs, sustain economic growth for years to come, and strengthen our competitive edge.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Energy Transportation Jennifer Granholm, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to half a dozen states to spotlight how the President's agenda will deliver for working families – fixing roads and bridges, ensuring clean drinking water, and connecting all Americans to high-speed internet.

See below for a small sampling of the local coverage Americans across the country are reading this week:

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in Nevada, California, and Oregon

Nevada

KSNV (NBC Las Vegas): US Labor Secretary visits Las Vegas to discuss how to return to pre-pandemic employment
[8/10/21]

Labor Secretary Martin Walsh talked to Las Vegas locals about getting our economy back to full speed.

[...]

During the morning roundtable on immigrant employment, Walsh said he realizes the local economy is heavily reliant on hospitality.

That's why -- in the short term -- he wants COVID-19 vaccinations stepped up.

[...]

"We really have to encourage people to get vaccinated, encourage people to take care of themselves, their family, and, and you know it's not just physical health care, but it's also for your jobs there. So we have to do more," Walsh said.

And the long term, allocate tax dollars in the infrastructure bill before congress for job training to help diversify the local economy.

"Creating opportunities to attract more diverse businesses to the city and the town, and then on the build back better agenda, there are $100 million dollars into job training and workforce development," said Walsh.

Nevada Current: Labor Secretary returns to Las Vegas to promote immigrant protections
[By Michael Lyle, 8/10/21]

As Labor Secretary Marty Walsh returned to Nevada Monday to speak on strengthening protections for immigrant workers, many who were essential workers during the pandemic, Senate Democrats announced their budget reconciliation package will create a pathway to citizenship.

The $107 billion budget line in the $3.5 trillion framework would create a "lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants" but doesn't offer any further details on who would be eligible. The item also allocates funding to increase border security.

[...]

"The Build Back Better agenda will cover it, but the issue now is what does that number look like," Walsh said referring to the reconciliation package. "It's an important bill. It does a couple things. It gives better training in the industry, it raises wages in the industry and there is a pathway of unionization as well. We will be working on passing that bill."

Oregon

KLCC (NPR Oregon) Biden's Labor Secretary Visits Springfield, Promotes Infrastructure Investment
[By Brian Bull, 8/10/21]

Secretary Walsh toured a training facility for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290. Such sites are essential to preparing workers to meet new infrastructure demands, with more eco-friendly systems.  Walsh says the president has tied jobs to climate reform.

"And he tied it to the opportunity for not just combating climate change, and having a greener society, with charging stations and EV vehicles and all that, he also talked about that we have to build that infrastructure, and that's quite honestly what we're seeing here with the infrastructure bill as it moves forward."

[...]

KVAL (Eugene) : 'Today is an important day': US Labor Secretary tours Springfield facility
[By Olivia Young, 8/10/21]

It was a warm local welcome for Labor Secretary Marty Walsh at a workforce training center in Springfield.

"Today is an important day," Secretary Walsh said. "What you're seeing behind me is a training facility, training young workers in America for the jobs of the future."

KEZI (Eugene): Labor secretary pitches federal infrastructure deal in Springfield
[By Jacob Roberts, 8/10/21]

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The U.S. Secretary of Labor was in Springfield Tuesday pitching a bipartisan infrastructure deal that just passed the U.S. Senate.

Secretary Marty Walsh visited a union training facility at the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290. Walsh was joined by Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio for a tour of the facility, which the pair says can train workers of the future.

The purpose of the trip is for Walsh to meet with community leaders, union members and workers to highlight the benefits of President Joe Biden's infrastructure plans.

Walsh said there is something for everybody in the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal.

"This infrastructure bill is about rural America. This infrastructure bill is about urban America. This infrastructure bill is about retraining people and getting people into the skills they need," Walsh said.

KOIN (Portland): Labor Secretary Walsh holds farmworkers roundtable in Oregon
[By Lisa Balick, 8/10/21]

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh joined Rep. Peter DeFazio, the head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, at various stops through the day.

His day began with DeFazio at 9:45 a.m. when they toured the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290 in Springfield. Then at 11:30 a.m., they took part in a farmworkers roundtable at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene.

Walsh, alongside University of Oregon President Michael Schill, listened to concerns about the thousands of farmworkers who are in the field during the recent heat wave and wildfires. They want protections in place to protect the people who put food on our table from pathways to citizenship to better pay, especially when working in hazardous conditions.

Walsh said he hears similar concerns from farmworkers around the country.

He also told KOIN 6 News the Biden Administration is working on heat safety rules for farmworkers.

Capital Press: Labor Secretary gets earful on Oregon farmworker conditions | Oregon
[By Mateusz Perkowski, 8/10/21]

EUGENE, Ore. — As the former mayor of a major American city, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh admits he faces a steep learning curve regarding farmworker regulations.

[...]

After hearing from farmworker representatives, Walsh said he planned to look into several problems discussed at the roundtable, such as changing coronavirus restrictions and growing safety threats from heat and wildfire smoke.

Register Guard: U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in Eugene to talk infrastructure, jobs
[By Jordyn Brown, 8/10/21]

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh made a stop Tuesday in Eugene on his tour promoting the Biden Administration's bipartisan infrastructure bill and the American Jobs Plan, which the administration says will lead to job growth and investments in America's middle class and workforce training.

Walsh's first visit of the day was to the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290 training center in Springfield. Oregon's Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio joined him on a tour of the facility and in speaking to the crowd.

[...]

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make an investment in our physical infrastructure in America," Walsh said. "There's also another bill working its way through the Build Back Better agenda that works in the CARES economy, that invests in job training, in schools and education and opportunities for people. So, there's a lot of great investment going on in our country. President Biden has asked me to go around and talk about this and that's why I'm here today."

California

San Francisco Chronicle: Labor Secretary says infrastructure bill would help Bay Area transition from fossil fuels
[By Ricardo Cano, 8/11/21]

The expansive infrastructure bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday would help speed up the Bay Area's transition away from fossil fuels without leaving workers behind, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said Wednesday after visiting the region.

Walsh's visit to Contra Costa County to stump for President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda came a day after the Senate advanced the $1.2 trillion proposal that could bring tens of billions of federal dollars to California to repair its aging roadways and infrastructure. The Senate on Wednesday also passed a budget blueprint for a $3.5 trillion social spending package.

[...]

Mercury News: Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier promise jobs
[By Shomik Mukherjee, 8/11/21]

RICHMOND — Though his trip long had been planned, U.S Labor Secretary Marty Walsh made two stops Wednesday in Contra Costa County to talk about jobs on the day after the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that aims to create lots of them.

Walsh's visit was part of a broader roadshow to promote federal plans for infrastructure spending, and he used the occasion to promise East Bay union workers that their jobs and wages will be secure into the future if Congress passes the bill — a bipartisan victory for President Joe Biden. The House of Representatives must still vote.

The bill would send billions of dollars to individual states for road repairs, broadband internet, water system upgrades and other public work improvements.

Walsh tried to assure plumbers and steamfitters in Concord and members of a Richmond-based trade jobs training program that all looks bright despite an imminent shift in California's economy to more eco-friendly jobs.

"There seems to be this natural conflict between environmentalists and, say, construction workers," Walsh said at a news conference. "We don't necessarily need that — we need to have more conversations (with unions). The president was very clear when he talked about his environmental package... he led by saying, 'I want to create good union-paying jobs.' "

[...]

He and Walsh noted that about $100 billion has been allocated in the infrastructure bill for training workers to adapt to a greener energy sector.

[...]

KCBS Radio (San Francisco): Labor Secretary visits East Bay to tout $1T bill, union jobs
[By Matt Bigler, 8/11/21]

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and other labor officials visited the East Bay on Wednesday to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill making its way through Congress.

Walsh took a tour of a union complex in Concord where plumbers, pipe fitters and welders train.

"I've been to a lot of training facilities all across the country and this is one of the most impressive," he told KCBS Radio.

Walsh praised the Senate for passing the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which if passed by the House, will create thousands of union jobs in the Bay Area as well as across the United States. "Folks will have the opportunity to walk through these doors, get trained and work in this region, the Bay Area, on infrastructure projects," he said.

KTVU (Oakland) U.S. labor secretary visits Bay Area to tout infrastructure bill, questioned on unemployment benefits
[By Tom Vacar, 8/12/21]

OAKLAND, Calif. - Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, former mayor of Boston, was in the Bay Area Wednesday to push the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

[...]

"We're dealing with a pandemic, something that we never, ever dealt with before, at least in our lifetime, and it's a very complicated, difficult and challenging time to govern," said Walsh.

[...]

"We're going to be making investments and reforming, looking at reforming, some of the way we do business here and moving forward, I think the federal government does have a role to play and needs to step into this role," said Walsh.

[...]

Richmond Standard: U.S. Labor Secretary visits RichmondBUILD to promote Build Back Better agenda
[By Kathy Chouteau, 8/12/21]

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh visited RichmondBUILD with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier Wednesday to promote the Biden-Harris administration's investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better agenda with local community leaders and stakeholders.

The visit followed Tuesday's passage in the Senate of an approximate $1 trillion infrastructure bill to update roads, bridges, rail system, power grids, Internet connections and other issues nationwide, according to The Washington Post. The bill includes funding to kickstart more job training programs, such as RichmondBUILD's, and to encourage more women into the construction industry. The bill next moves on to the House of Representatives.

[...]

The secretary said the infrastructure bill "literally sets the trajectory our country in a whole different direction for the next century" by making investments in "roads and bridges, clean drinking water and driving electric—all the things that are physical infrastructure."

[...]

As much investment as possible in job training and workforce development is needed to repurpose workers and train new ones as the country transitions toward becoming "less reliant on fossil fuel and more reliant on alternative sources," the secretary added.

"This is not a Democratic issue, this is not a Republican issue. This is about the future of our country," underscored Secretary Walsh.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge in Alabama

WIAT (Birmingham): Sec. Fudge, Rep. Sewell in Birmingham to boost 'Build Back Better' agenda 
[By Phil Pinarski, 8/11/21]

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Terri A. Sewell (AL-07) welcomed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge to Birmingham to amplify the Biden-Harris Administration's Build Back Better agenda.

Rep. Sewell and Secretary Fudge were joined by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham Housing Authority President David Northern, Sr.

"Build Back Better" agenda includes investments in housing construction and rehabilitation, economic development, and community revitalization. 
 
WBRC (Birmingham):
HUD Secretary visits Birmingham
[8/11/21]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge was in Birmingham Wednesday, August 11, to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration's Build Back Better agenda.

Fudge talked about the agenda including its investments in housing construction and rehabilitation, economic development, and community revitalization. Secretary Fudge was joined by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and U.S. Representative Terri A. Sewell (AL-07). 

Al.com: HUD Secretary will visit Birmingham, promote Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure plan
[By Greg Garrison, 8/12/21]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge will travel to Birmingham on Wednesday to promote the Biden-Harris Administration's Build Back Better agenda.  

[...]

Fudge will highlight President Biden's efforts to make life more affordable by lowering the costs of childcare, prescription drugs, housing and health care. The Build Back Better Plan has a goal of building or preserving more than 2 million affordable homes in an effort to drive down the costs of housing by expanding the supply of affordable housing.   

Birmingham Times: HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge in Birmingham to Tout $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill
[8/12/21]

Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) joined U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell and Birmingham leaders Wednesday at an under-construction apartment complex in Titusville to tout President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda, while praising economic development in the city. 

The Build Back Better agenda is focused on housing, jobs and providing economic opportunities for large and small businesses which are part of a recently passed $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill in the U.S. Senate that has been sent to the House of Representatives. 

WVTM (Birmingham): Build Back Better: U.S. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge visits Birmingham  
[By Magdala Louissaint, 8/12/21]

U.S. Secretary of Housing Urban Development Marcia Fudge visited Birmingham Wednesday as the city nears the completion of a two-year project at the Villas at Titusville. 

WBHM (NPR Alabama): HUD Secretary Touts 'Millions and Millions of Dollars' Coming to Birmingham for Infrastructure
[By Cody Short, 8/12/21]

One day after the Senate passed a $1 billion infrastructure bill, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge visited Birmingham Wednesday, promoting how the Magic City could benefit from the bipartisan plan. 

Fudge's visit focused on President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda, which includes investment in affordable housing. The secretary, who was joined by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Congresswoman Terri Sewell, spent time at two public housing communities: Southtown Court and Villas at Titusville. 

Fudge said equity must be a consideration when addressing housing disparities. 

Alabama Political Reporter: Sewell welcomes HUD Sec. Marcia Fudge to Birmingham  
[By Brandon Moseley, 8/12/21]

"We know that systemic racism has done a great damage to this country and to cities like Birmingham," Fudge said. Fudge said that as a large city Birmingham would receive priority funding from Biden's infrastructure bill that had passed the Senate on Tuesday. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in New Jersey

NJ.com: Buttigieg visits N.J. commuter towns to pitch $1 trillion infrastructure bill
[By Larry Higgs, 8/9/21]

He repeated a theme that investing in transportation infrastructure was more than moving people, but about attracting families and businesses to suburban communities. He also characterized the infrastructure bill as helping to address climate change issues, which he said was important in light of a major report released Monday that said climate change was in a "code red" condition for humanity.

NorthJersey.com: Buttigieg joins NJ mayors for bipartisan pitch of $1T infrastructure bill
[By Colleen Wilson, 8/9/21]
"It was great to be able to hear all these concrete examples of why transportation funding and transportation efficiency matters, but they clearly all boil down to one single thing, which is that communities, families, livelihoods depend on the ability to get to where they need to be," said Buttigieg, who also met with local labor leaders during his visit.

News12: US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits NJ to tout infrastructure bill
[8/10/21]

"Some of the things that are possible through this bill will happen immediately. And I'm thinking about that list an arm's length long that every mayor has. And every state leader has of things they would be able to do right away if they only had the funding," Buttigieg said.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in Virginia

WRIC: Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visits Henrico for tour of future GreenCity: "This is the poster child"
[By Tyler Thrasher, 8/12/21]
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — With the bipartisan $1T infrastructure bill passing in the Senate, United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited the former Best Products facility in Henrico for a tour of the future 'GreenCity.'

Joined by Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger and members of Henrico County's Board of Supervisors, Sec. Granholm was updated on investment and plans for the eco-district's development.

The former Governor of Michigan said President Biden's Build Back Better agenda for Central Virginia is in place to create clean energy-powered communities and generate new local jobs.

She added that GreenCity is what the future of sustainable projects looks like.

"This project is a signature project and I am really excited to be here," Sec. Granholm said." It is sort of a poster child of the kind of world we can create."

'GreenCity' environmental sustainability, development timeline: What you need to know
"Obviously, there are a few years left before it is complete but this project will be able to take advantage of the work Congresswoman Spanberger is supporting, in terms of the President's Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure framework that was just passed in the Senate."

Sec. Granholm said GreenCity is an example of what the Biden Administration is going to be able to do if they are able to pass the full presidential agenda.

"It's about taking advantage of the demand for clean energy products in the U.S., build them in the U.S., sell them in the U.S. and put people into work in the U.S.," she said. "There is a sense of urgency about this and we must act. The United States can take control of the global demand for clean energy products and manufacture them in the U.S."

[...]

Joseph R. Biden, What They Are Reading in the States: Cabinet Members Tout Infrastructure, Jobs, and Build Back Better Nationwide Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/352322

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