Jill Long Thompson: Congress must pass Build Back Better plan to fulfill Biden agenda

Keywords Opinion / Viewpoint

The give and take of the democratic process often makes it feel as if Washington is doing nothing to address the major problems facing our communities and country. But while there is always much work to be done, President Joe Biden is providing the leadership that is moving us forward during a most difficult time of political polarization.

President Biden and our Democratic representatives in Congress are delivering for Hoosiers.

For example, on March 11, less than two months after taking office, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan. U.S. Reps. André Carson and Frank Mrvan both supported this legislation that has had a significant positive impact right here in Indiana.

Getting people vaccinated so we can stop the spread of COVID-19 has been a top priority for the president. The ARP provided funding for administering the vaccine and about half of all Hoosiers are now fully vaccinated. We need to expand outreach that will provide additional information to those who have safety concerns about the vaccines, but thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we have made progress.

The rescue plan also provided $250 million for broadband improvements across Indiana. More than one in 10 Hoosiers live in areas that lack broadband infrastructure and almost half live in an area with only one internet provider. Access to affordable high-speed internet service is critical to businesses, including Indiana’s ag community, and to Hoosier families—and this $250 million investment is making a difference in communities throughout Indiana.

For the first time in more than a decade, because of the ARP, public schools in Indiana are fully funded and teachers have received a well-earned pay raise. Public education is critical to our children’s, our state’s and our nation’s future, and we have been able to provide resources that will ensure a brighter future for all of us.

There is more to do. Investing wisely in our people, our communities and our country makes us stronger, and that is why Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill and must support the Build Back Better agenda. We have the largest economy and the most productive workforce in the world—but we are slipping, and we have challenges that must be addressed to get us back on track.

Our infrastructure was once ranked No. 1 globally, but now we are ranked 13th by the World Economic Forum. Indiana has 1,111 bridges that need major repair; we have 5,478 miles of roads in poor condition; and we need to replace every lead pipe in the state.

We also once led the world in educational achievement. Today, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, our investment in early childhood education ranks 35th out of 37 major countries. The infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better agenda will address these problems, as well as many others.

President Biden is a leader who understands the legislative process and who also understands the importance of compromise. Democracy is not about each one of us getting our way, but rather, is about working collectively to find our way forward together.

President Biden is showing us a fair and fiscally responsible way forward. He has delivered for Hoosiers, and it is now time for us to show support for his leadership in getting our country back on track.•

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Thompson is a former member of the U.S. House and former board chair and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration. She is the author of “The Character of American Democracy.”

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6 thoughts on “Jill Long Thompson: Congress must pass Build Back Better plan to fulfill Biden agenda

  1. As someone among the 72% of Americans that are not in favor of the “Build Back Better” spending spree, I share few if any of the opinions of Jill Long Thompson. Based on numerous polls that show President Biden’s approval ratings in the tank … ” One year out from the 2022 midterm elections, 58% of Americans say President Joe Biden hasn’t paid enough attention to the nation’s most important problems, as a majority disapproves of the way he’s handling his job as President, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.”, the majority of Americans don’t want him to run for reelection in 2024.The next year will be pivotal for both America and Joe Biden. As the average working person realizes a lower standard of living due to the greatest rate of inflation in decades, the American economy is on the edge of falling off the cliff. And printing trillions more dollars will only accelerate the fall. Those that are not working, whether on fixed income or receiving government assistance are also realizing a lower standard of living. And these are individuals that are hurt the most by the failed policies that are crippling our economy. Ironic that the author of “The Character of American Democracy” favors the corrupt practice of printing and passing out unfathomable sums of money … picking the winners and losers … and “buying votes” …, which is anything but democratic.

  2. Fiscally responsible??? Jill are you kidding me. How ignorant do you think your readers are?? Look at the gas pump and don’t shrug your shoulders and blame it on OPEC.

  3. Amen to the above comments.

    Ms. Thompson: Your article twice refers to Biden as a “leader.” What a pathetic joke. Any leading he’s done has been in the wrong direction, resulting in the largest consumer price index rise in one month (October 2021) than the country has had since December 1990….and besides, he’s not “leading” at all; it’s his shadow handlers telling him what to do. He is complying because he doesn’t have brains enough (and never had, regardless of his obvious onset dementia) to care about America and Americans beyond the next election…which, hopefully, will be a bloodbath for those evil-doers masquerading as Democrats.

  4. Let’s see, prior to election Brandon, and Friends told everyone not to take the Trump Vaccine. We now still have Americans in Afghanistan wanting out. The southern border is such a joke Brandon has moved on from it. Inflation is at 30 years high. Build Back Better is nothing but a cash grab for Dems who know they will be out of office in 12 months. National Teachers organization is out of control with CRT. (Yes, it is being taught.) Chinese and Russan Army’s will be grabbing sovereign nations before Brandon’s term is up with no response from USA. (Our nation’s military leaders are more concerned with fake domestic issues.) The leader of Interior department was once involved in Spiking Trees. The head of the treasury once advocated for Socialist (Stalinist) economic policy. To be honest I’m tired of typing. The is an unmitigated disaster.

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