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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Union Leaders Applaud Passage of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

November 07, 2021

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal – a once-in-a-generation investment that will create millions of jobs, modernize our infrastructure, and tackle the climate crisis – passed the House and now heads to President Biden's desk for his signature.

The American people made it clear: we need to deliver. The President and Congressional Democrats proved we can.

Union leaders praised the President and the lawmakers who worked across the aisle to pass the historic legislation, which will make a real impact in communities across the country, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21stcentury.

See below for what they are saying:

Liz Shuler, President, AFL-CIO: "Victories like this are why we campaigned so hard for President Biden. Finally, at long last, infrastructure week is really here. Today's final passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a monumental political and legislative accomplishment. After decades of delay and decline, America's workers stand ready to rebuild our country. This $1 trillion investment in roads, bridges, transit, rail, climate change mitigation, electric vehicles, clean drinking water, high-speed internet, resilient transmission lines and more is centered around the creation of good union jobs...President Biden promised to be the most pro-union president in history—and today is another down payment on that promise. We are so close to making our economy fairer and safer for working people, and we can't stop now. With the bipartisan infrastructure bill set to become law, the House and Senate must finish the job by sending the Build Back Better Act to President Biden's desk." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Sean McGarvey, President, America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU): "The proud men and women of North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) are ready to go to work. After decades of delay and decay, we applaud last night's passage of the historic Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives. As it is now sent to the President's desk for signature, we commend committed leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who negotiated in good faith and delivered for the American people. We would also like to note our gratitude for Republicans who put the country first and joined with their colleagues in resisting threats and politics as usual by voting in the affirmative to tangibly strengthen the country we all love. The opportunities provided by this act will redound to the benefit of Americans from all walks of life, and NABTU is committed to making that a reality for those currently in and those seeking to enter the unionized construction industry. Moreover, NABTU will remain eternally grateful to the President and for his entire Administration's leadership on this generational accomplishment. President Biden's ability to ultimately bring both sides together and deliver for working families ensures that his promise made, was truly a promise kept." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Ray Curry, President, United Auto Workers: "With today's passage of a bi-partisan infrastructure bill, President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have fixed many of the core needs that every American relies on to live, work and succeed in the future. For UAW members this legislation brings reliability and job opportunities by improving the current state of our roads, bridges, water, electric vehicle infrastructure, internet capacity and electrical grid reliability. We were also encouraged by passage of the procedural rules for the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). We now look forward to swift passage by the U.S. House of the BBBA along with the Kildee/Stabenow Provision that when paired with this infrastructure bill will ensure that consumer EV subsidies for new EV products will be made in the United States by workers who have good paying union jobs." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Mark McManus, General President, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO: "For generations, our members have been promised good-paying jobs rebuilding American infrastructure by presidents of both parties. Now, President Biden is making good on that promise. This bipartisan infrastructure bill is a historic achievement that will create good-paying jobs for United Association members as we work to build back better. While this process was not easy, and was not without its roadblocks, Congress has finally shown our members that they are committed to create family-sustaining union jobs. The strong labor protections included in this bill, like prevailing wage provisions and the use of registered apprenticeships, mean that the jobs created will give every worker a fair shot at the middle class. Even more, these labor protections mean that United Association members, who are the best trained and most highly skilled craftspeople in our industry, can get to work providing clean and safe water to all our communities, delivering affordable and reliable energy to American consumers, and rebuilding critical pieces of our nation's infrastructure – all with fair wages and benefits. While there is still work left to do as the Senate considers the Build Back Better Act, today's passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill is a truly historic moment. President Biden is making good on his promise to invest in infrastructure to create good-paying union jobs. Now, the entire United Association stands ready to get to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure." [Statement, 11/5/21]

Lonnie R. Stephenson, President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: "Nearly one year ago, the American people voted in record numbers for a new president and majorities in Congress that would prioritize working families by making bold and visionary investments in our nation's crumbling infrastructure. Today, our elected leaders made good on that promise. IBEW members and working people everywhere are celebrating the passage of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. Making once-in-a-generation investments in our country, this legislation ushers in a new era of worker-centric prosperity – one characterized by good, union jobs that will put millions to work modernizing our electric grid, repairing and expanding the vital transportation services we all rely on, and creating the reduced-carbon energy solutions that will power our economy well into the 21st century and beyond. IBEW members have long called for the kind of historic funding levels that will transform life in America and we are eager, willing, and able to get to work rebuilding this country and powering our economy. We will lead the way in building out the charging infrastructure needed for the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles, buses, trains, and trucks. And we will continue our critical work as the power professionals who build and maintain the grid that makes life in America possible. We commend President Biden's leadership in addressing the climate crisis and encourage the Biden administration to continue supporting carbon-free nuclear energy. IBEW members also applaud the strong labor protections found in this legislation and will always push for the strongest labor standards possible across all infrastructure investments, including in the critical area of broadband expansion. Restoring the middle class has always been at the heart of President Biden's ambitious plan to Build Back Better, and the IBEW is proud to stand with President Biden, Vice President Harris and Congress in fighting for the union workers who built the middle class and our great nation." [Statement, 11/5/21]

Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employees International Union: "The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's important investments in public transportation, clean water, broadband and climate resilience are an important step forward. But Congress' work is far from over. SEIU members are mobilizing to ensure Congress acts now to build a more resilient, inclusive and equitable country by passing the Build Back Better agenda in its entirety this month. Tonight's rule passage and public commitment from House members to pass the Build Back Better Act as currently written by November 15 is a major step forward toward delivering a package that meets the needs of working families. Only by passing the infrastructure bill AND the Build Back Better Act can Congress ensure an equitable recovery, especially for the Black, Latina, Asian American Pacific Islander, Indigenous and immigrant women hit hardest by the pandemic. This is about Congress's responsibility to working people and delivering an historic investment in America's working families of all races. Now the President and Congress have to get this to the finish line. Investments in physical infrastructure are critical but must be connected to similar investments in our care economy. We need to invest in our care economy to protect and expand our home- and community-based care system to work for both families and those who provide these critical services by creating good union jobs and expanding access to long-term care. Funding climate resilience efforts in frontline communities and communities of color that bear the brunt of environmental injustice will secure the cleaner future we owe our children. Supporting immigrant communities will properly honor the millions of people who have always been essential, and who put their own safety at risk to keep our nation running even as the COVID-19 pandemic struck. We stand ready to work with President Biden and Congress to move our nation forward in building an economy and democracy that works for every family. Congress must answer the call of millions of people who voted for transformational change and pass President Biden's full Build Back Better agenda without delay." [Statement, 11/6/21]

John Costa, International President, Amalgamated Transit Union: "This legislation is a game changer for public transit, workers, riders, and our country. It's a down payment on our future. With record funding for public transit, the bill provides a historic investment in fixing and modernizing our nation's crumbling transit infrastructure. It will help fight climate change with funding to replace thousands of gas-powered buses with clean, zero-emission vehicles and provides critical workforce development to ensure frontline transit workers are trained to safely repair, maintain, and operate vehicles with this new technology. There has been an epidemic of violent attacks on transit workers that has only gotten worse during the pandemic. The Infrastructure bill provides important protections and safety measures to help ensure transit workers are safe on the job. The vision of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda is a comprehensive agenda for how we move forward as a nation for generations to come. So much is on the line. It's time to deliver what the American people voted for. By the House passing the infrastructure bill, we are one step closer to achieving real, transformative change." [Statement, 11/6/21]

John Samuelsen, President, Transport Workers Union: "The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a monumental victory for transportation workers and all workers in this country. This bill includes historic levels of much-needed federal investment that will repair, modernize, and grow our public transit and passenger rail systems. Not only will it create hundreds of thousands of new, good-paying, union jobs – it will improve job protection standards for workers nationwide. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will also ensure that workers will not be cast aside by new technology investments such as electric vehicles, prevent assaults onboard public transit and Amtrak, and raise safety standards in our transportation systems. While no bill is perfect and the TWU will continue to fight against any increase in private activity bond (PAB) financing intended to undermine and diminish public transit service, the key infrastructure investments included in this bill will create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs and improve the lives of our members. The TWU recognizes the unwavering commitment of President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Representative Peter DeFazio to transportation workers. Together, we look forward to building the next generation of transportation infrastructure." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Lonnie R. Stephenson, President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW): "Nearly one year ago, the American people voted in record numbers for a new president and majorities in Congress that would prioritize working families by making bold and visionary investments in our nation's crumbling infrastructure. Today, our elected leaders made good on that promise. IBEW members and working people everywhere are celebrating the passage of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. Making once-in-a-generation investments in our country, this legislation ushers in a new era of worker-centric prosperity – one characterized by good, union jobs that will put millions to work modernizing our electric grid, repairing and expanding the vital transportation services we all rely on, and creating the reduced-carbon energy solutions that will power our economy well into the 21st century and beyond. IBEW members have long called for the kind of historic funding levels that will transform life in America and we are eager, willing, and able to get to work rebuilding this country and powering our economy. We will lead the way in building out the charging infrastructure needed for the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles, buses, trains, and trucks. And we will continue our critical work as the power professionals who build and maintain the grid that makes life in America possible. We commend President Biden's leadership in addressing the climate crisis and encourage the Biden administration to continue supporting carbon-free nuclear energy. IBEW members also applaud the strong labor protections found in this legislation and will always push for the strongest labor standards possible across all infrastructure investments, including in the critical area of broadband expansion. Restoring the middle class has always been at the heart of President Biden's ambitious plan to Build Back Better, and the IBEW is proud to stand with President Biden, Vice President Harris and Congress in fighting for the union workers who built the middle class and our great nation." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Lee Saunders, President, AFSCME: "The passage of this bill is a watershed moment that is a long time coming. 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. Today's vote in the House comes on the immediate heels of a very strong jobs report this morning, with more than half a million jobs created in October, as the virus continues to recede. After more than a year and a half of struggle and challenge, we are starting to turn the corner, and the passage of the infrastructure bill will further accelerate progress." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT): "This bill is a triumph for working people, the economy and the nation. It will better the life of each and every American and stands as a breakthrough after years of talk and bluster about infrastructure, but precious little action. Today, that changed: it shows what we can achieve when we bridge divides and work together to find solutions for the American people. This bill will get lead out of water and repair leaky tunnels. It will pipe broadband into millions of homes that sorely need it. And it's going to restore our crumbling roads and create millions of new jobs. Both progressive and moderates worked constructively with the speaker and the president to find a way to make this a reality. Now, we have the wind at our backs—we are dealing with COVID, adding jobs, and have a second page of history about to be written: child and elder care, pre-K, and climate action in the Build Back Better Act. Let's celebrate tonight's vote and continue to deliver for the American people who've been through so much and yearn to see the light at the end of the tunnel." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and Shari Semelsberger, Secretary-treasurer of TTD: "Tonight is a historic night for millions of transportation workers across America. By sending H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to President Biden's desk for a signature, and advancing the rule on H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, Congress has taken serious steps towards answering the decades-long call by TTD and our 33 affiliated unions to bring America's transportation infrastructure squarely into the 21st Century, to sustain and create millions of good union jobs, and to expand safety and other worker protections across all modes of transportation...We thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for their leadership and the members of Congress who demonstrated that they heard our call by voting in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and again, urge strong support for the Build Back Better Act."

Jimmy Williams, Jr., President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT): "The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the House last night is a huge step forward for our country. IUPAT members from coast to coast are ready to go to work on the projects that will be funded through the bi-partisan infrastructure bill and we thank those in Congress of both parties who put workers first and voted for the bill...Together, these bills will help leverage the economic power of the United States to create quality, good paying jobs across sectors and allow our communities to grow and thrive. We cannot wait to act; the time is now to make the investments that will impact our country now and for generations to come." [Statement, 11/6/21]

James T. Callahan, General President, International Union of Operating Engineers: "The Operating Engineers applaud the hard work and resolve of President Biden and Speaker Pelosi to make passage of the bipartisan infrastructure framework a reality and to deliver for the American people. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will enable us to build world-class infrastructure that is safe, reliable, and more resilient. It will create hundreds of thousands of family wage jobs, build healthier communities, and reduce congestion and gridlock. This historic $1.2 trillion infrastructure investment will help train and employ tens of thousands of skilled tradespeople, including thousands of Operating Engineers, in every corner of the country. It will rebuild the nation's crumbling public works and solidify the foundation upon which America competes in the global economy...The legislative process is not always easy, but bipartisanship and compromise are essential to move our country forward. Passing this historic infrastructure bill is a major step forward. We expect to see further progress in the days to come." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Nevada State AFL-CIO: "With the bipartisan #Infrastructure Investments and #Jobs Act, Reps. @RepSusieLee, @repdinatitus, and @RepHorsford stood by our union members in delivering crucial funding for items that we know union members need." [Tweet, 11/6/21]

Terry O'Sullivan, General President, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA): Today's long awaited vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the single greatest infrastructure investment in generations, is a victory for the hard-working men and women of LIUNA. The $1.2 trillion investment will restore our roads and bridges, our water systems, transit, and broadband with historic new investments. The investment will put Laborers to work in every community, revitalize our nation's economy, and open doors to the middle-class for hundreds of thousands of working men and women...LIUNA thanks President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for their leadership, their vision, and their resolve to win passage of this transformative investment in our nation." [Statement, 11/6/21]

United Auto Workers: "With today's passage of a bi-partisan infrastructure bill, President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have fixed many of the core needs that every American relies on to live, work and succeed in the future. For UAW members this legislation brings reliability and job opportunities by improving the current state of our roads, bridges, water, electric vehicle infrastructure, internet capacity and electrical grid reliability. We were also encouraged by passage of the procedural rules for the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). We now look forward to swift passage by the U.S. House of the BBBA along with the Kildee/Stabenow Provision that when paired with this infrastructure bill will ensure that consumer EV subsidies for new EV products will be made in the United States by workers who have good paying union jobs." [Statement, 11/6/21]

John Costa, International President, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU): "This legislation is a game changer for public transit, workers, riders, and our country. It's a down payment on our future. With record funding for public transit, the bill provides a historic investment in fixing and modernizing our nation's crumbling transit infrastructure. It will help fight climate change with funding to replace thousands of gas-powered buses with clean, zero-emission vehicles and provides critical workforce development to ensure frontline transit workers are trained to safely repair, maintain, and operate vehicles with this new technology. The vision of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda is a comprehensive agenda for how we move forward as a nation for generations to come. So much is on the line. It's time to deliver what the American people voted for. By the House passing the infrastructure bill, we are one step closer to achieving real, transformative change." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Susie Martinez, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Nevada State AFL-CIO: "With the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, Reps. Susie Lee, Dina Titus, and Steven Horsford stood by our union members in delivering crucial funding for items that we know union members need. This legislation will create millions of good jobs and opportunities that lead to careers in high-paying skilled trades. Jobs with dignity that lead to retirement with dignity. Every dollar invested in Nevada's infrastructure is an opportunity to put people to work in union jobs that will give them higher pay, better benefits, and a louder voice in the workplace than their non-union counterparts. America's labor movement fully supports this critical jobs bill, and we are grateful to Reps. Titus, Horsford, and Lee for again delivering for union families." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Jim Hoffa, General President, Teamsters: "After years of inaction, Democrats and Republicans came together to approve important legislation that will boost necessary transportation, electrical and water networks that will create good-paying jobs and bring the nation's economy into the 21st century. I want to thank the Biden administration and congressional leaders for all their hard work to get this done.Previously, elected officials have only talked about infrastructure investment but done little about it. But now the traveling public as well as those do the work to keep the nation's roads, rails and bridges up-and-running have reason for hope.This bill will modernize essential transportation systems – all critical parts of America's supply chain. Teamsters work each day in every part of this supply chain and know firsthand that our transportation infrastructure has been neglected for too long." [Statement, 11/6/21]

SMART: "The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a significant achievement to create and protect good, union jobs in the construction and transportation industries that will be instrumental in rebuilding our nation. Its passage comes as our labor market demonstrates signs of progress and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent. The passage of this legislation will further aid our recovery." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Matthew Biggs, President, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE): "The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a win for American workers and their communities. This bill fulfills an overdue promise that lawmakers have made to Americans and it paves the way for 21st century infrastructure projects and good-paying union jobs. IFPTE members, the work they do, and the neighborhoods they come home to will be among the beneficiaries of this bill which modernizes transit and transportation networks, roads and highways, ports and waterways, airports, water systems, and broadband access. We now turn our attention to passing the Build Back Better Act and applaud the progress the House has made. We urge Congress to quickly follow up on this historic victory and send the Build Back Better Act to President Biden's desk with provisions that support childcare and early education, economic resiliency and clean energy, research and development infrastructure, affordable housing and healthcare, and tax fairness. We applaud President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer for their vision in making this historic investment in our nation's infrastructure, and in American workers." [Statement, 11/6/21]

Machinists Union: "The infrastructure package will finally strengthen #BuyAmerica rules to help boost our domestic manufacturing sectors. The IAM fought to include the most significant federal investment in public transit and passenger rail since the creation of @Amtrak. #InfrastructureBill" [Tweet, 11/6/21]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Union Leaders Applaud Passage of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/353269

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