During meeting at the White House with key leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, Senator Warnock again raised the issue of voting rights with President Biden and Vice President Harris directly
Senator Warnock stressed urgency of taking federal action to protect access to the ballot box for eligible Americans in the face of sweeping state-level voter suppression efforts in Georgia, nationwide
Senator Warnock also highlighted the importance of passing the American Jobs Planfor Georgia
Senator Warnock: “President Biden understands…we can both work on infrastructure and the infrastructure of our democracy at the same time, and so he reassured us that we are partners in this effort, and that we must pass voting rights in this Congress”
Senator Warnock: “It’s critical we get the American Jobs Plan done to keep Georgia’s roads and bridges safe and secure, and our economy competitive—and it’s critical that we pass voting rights legislation like the For the People Actthat will make it easier for people to vote”
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, during a meeting with key members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at the White House, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) pushed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on the urgent importance of passing federal legislation to protect and expand access to ballot box to make sure eligible Americans can make their voices heard in our democracy, and urged them to keep the issue on the front burner amid the Administration’s additional legislative priorities.
At the meeting with the President and Vice President, which was also attended by U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D, OH-03), Congressman Hank Johnson, Jr. (D, GA-04) and small group of additional CBC members, Senator Warnock reiterated the urgency for passing federal voting rights legislation in the face of Georgia’s new voter supression law and several state-level voter suppression efforts that have swept the nation in recent weeks. Senator Warnock previously raised this issue directly with the President and Vice President during a March meeting in Atlanta.
“President Biden understands that while we are working on a whole range of issues from health care to vaccinations to infrastructure, we can both work on infrastructure and the infrastructure of our democracy at the same time, and so he reassured us that we are partners in this effort, and that we must pass voting rights in this Congress,” Senator Warnock said during a media availability immediately following the meeting.
Additionally, during the meeting Senator Warnock stressed the importance of passing the American Jobs Plan proposed by the White House to invest in the nation’s critical infrastructure needs, highlighting how the landmark legislation will specifically benefit Georgia’s transportation and infrastructure priorities.
“It’s critical we get the American Jobs Plandone to keep Georgia’s roads and bridges safe and secure, and our economy competitive—and it’s critical that we pass voting rights legislation like the For the People Actthat will make it easier for people to vote. And as a voice for Georgians in the Senate, I’m focused on getting both of these crucial priorities across the finish line,” Senator Warnock later added.
Some of Senator Warnock’s priorities for Georgia in the American Jobs Planinclude strengthening federal investments in:
- ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Georgia there are 374 bridges and over 2,260 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 10.8% in Georgia and on average, each driver pays $375 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations’ transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.
Additionally, Senator Warnock is focused how these federal investments can help Congress start to address and reverse historic inequities in transportation and infrastructure that have disadvantaged historically-marginalized groups in Georgia and nationwide, like how highways have historically been used to separate and displace communities, especially communities of color.
- CLEAN ENERGY JOBS: As of 2019, there were 83,806 Georgians working in clean energy, and the American Jobs Plan invests in creating more good paying union jobs advancing clean energy production by extending and expanding tax credits for clean energy generation, carbon capture and sequestration and clean energy manufacturing.
Specifically, Senator Warnock is working to make sure the bill includes funding to support clean energy jobs in Georgia, like incentivizing efforts to increase our nation’s electric school bus fleet by 20%, innovation that’s being led by companies like Fort Valley’s Blue Bird Company.
- PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Georgians who take public transportation spend an extra 74.1% of their time commuting and non-White households are 3.9 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 7% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.
Additionally, Senator Warnock is working to target some of these federal investments to areas of persistent poverty, to better connect residents to jobs and services in their communities.
- HOUSING: In part due to a lack of available and affordable housing, 654,000 renters in Georgia are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The American Jobs Plan proposes investing over $200 billion to increase housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.
And as a key member of the Senate Banking committee, Senator Warnock will also be working to strengthen the supply of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income communities, as well as communities for senior living, through building new public housing and supporting the modernization/weatherization of existing public housing.
- BROADBAND: 10% of Georgians live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 38.8% of Georgians live in areas where there is only one such internet provider. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. 15% of Georgia households do not have an internet subscription, and in fact, previous studies have found that there are over 250,000 homes and businesses Georgia that are considered to have access to broadband that actually do not have reliable broadband access. The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed, and affordable coverage to every family in America.
In addition to strengthened broadband subsidies and outreach, Senator Warnock is focused on making sure the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the necessary resources to update the maps and data necessary to ensure Georgians in every community—including farmlands and rural communities—have access to reliable broadband.
- CAREGIVING: Across the country, hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities are in need of home and community-based services. The American Jobs Plan will invest $400 billion to help more people access care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs.
Specifically, Senator Warnock is focused on rebuilding the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers. Many of these workers are women of color who have been underpaid and undervalued for too long, and Senator Warnock is committed to working to make substantial investments in the infrastructure of our care economy, starting by creating new and better jobs for caregiving workers.