President Joe Biden's agenda — a suite of tax increases for upper income earners, a massive infrastructure plan that will also fight climate change, a strengthening of the social safety net for families and a pledge to compete with China — will all have an effect on New York.
And for a state that was as hard hit as New York was during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials hope to begin a rebuild of the economy that has been devastated over the last year by the crisis.
Take Biden's plan to build wind turbines domestically as a way of generating clean energy and new jobs in the emerging green economy sector. New York wants to play a key role in that manufacturing space. The Port of Albany, for instance, is expected to be overhauled so it can help transport those turbines down the Hudson River.
At the same time, there is the individual economies of families, and Biden wants to spend trillions of dollars more to bolster proposals for paid family leave, child care and free community college nationwide.
“The American Rescue Plan delivered unprecedented relief to families, small businesses, farmers, veterans, students, local governments, and more," said Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from the Hudson Valley. "Under this historic legislation, our nation has experienced unprecedented job growth and economic recovery. When we invest in American families and workers, the American economy soars."
But New York Republicans found less to cheer about. GOP lawmakers have been disappointed that Biden's campaign rhetoric over coming to bipartisan consensus in Congress is yet to translate into governing.
Biden's tax increases could stall the economic recovery, they worry, and his environmental plans could cost the nation jobs. In other words, Biden is failing to achieve his stated goal of unifying the country, said Rep. Elise Stefanik of the North Country.
"Instead of addressing the crisis at our Southern border, President Biden supports amnesty for all. He proposed raising taxes, failed to support law enforcement, doubled down on radical environmental policies like canceling the Keystone Pipeline, and supported unconstitutional proposals to infringe on the Second Amendment," Stefanik said. "These are not bipartisan actions that will unify the country — they are radical mandates from the Far-Left of the Democrat Party."
Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers like freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman faulted Biden for not going far enough. Bowman is a freshman lawmaker elected to a New York City-area House seat last year.
“The proposals that President Biden has put forward over the last few weeks would represent important steps — but don’t go as big as we’d truly need in order to solve the crises of jobs, climate and care,” Bowman said in what was billed as a progressive rebuttal to the president's address. “We need to think bigger.”
The composition of New York's House delegation is not unlike the rest of the country. There are deeply conservative lawmakers, progressives and moderate suburbanites.
Republican Rep. John Katko, a central New York Republican, has proposed a compromise bill for infrastructure spending and decried the price tag for the president's plan. But he remains open to striking an agreement.
“With more and more people getting vaccinated each day, many Central New Yorkers are optimistic and looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead," Katko said. "But we still have a long way to go. As our nation emerges from the first pandemic in one hundred years, we need smart investment and cannot cripple future generations with looming debt. Looking ahead, it is my hope that we can build off of consensus-driven proposals and commit to working across party lines to make long overdue progress on key issues, and pave the way for a prosperous post-pandemic America.”