President Biden’s plan proposed $5 billion in new funding per year for building the country’s resilience to extreme weather and climate-related disasters. The American Jobs Plan identified three sub-categories of resilience work but did not specify how much of the $5 billion each would get. First, a portion of the new funds would go to building the resilience of what everyone would agree is physical infrastructure. For example, the plan would invest in making our electric grid, roads, and rails more robust to extreme weather and rising sea levels.
Each of the remaining two resilience sub-categories in the American Jobs Plan expanded the usual definition of infrastructure. The second sub-category would invest in making food systems as well as community health and hospitals more robust and in rebuilding homes and business structures above existing codes and standards after they have been destroyed or damaged, for example, by a hurricane, fire, or flood. The third resilience sub-category in the American Jobs Plan would invest in restoring lands, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and coastal and ocean resources. These investments in the natural environment would include protection against extreme fires, sea-level rise, and hurricanes.
At $9.4 billion per year, the Common Sense Coalition, now with President Biden’s support, proposes significantly more resilience funding than the American Jobs Plan. It does not break out subcategories for that investment. PSC proposes $5.6 billion for “resiliency and nature-based infrastructure.”
Senate Republicans call for investing in the resilience of our infrastructure to extreme weather and rising ocean levels with the new spending they propose in the categories discussed above. They do not consider the rest of the resilience investments proposed in the other plans to be infrastructure.