The Update: What‘s Important in Harrisburg & DC – September 12, 2022



With the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act we have many tools to move the economy in the right direction. See the op ed from Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey below on how to use those tools to “ReImagine Appalachia.”

We also have analysis on how to move Pennsylvania’s economy forward, Sen. Romney’s child tax credit plan, and President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

Thank you for supporting our work,

Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director


Economic Messaging for Progressives
Marc Stier | Blog | 09/01/2022
PBPC has long focused not just on what policies to adopt but how we can build support for them. The policy papers we wrote for our We The People–PA campaign and our Roadmap to a New Pennsylvania, as well as the narrative for the campaign, focus on messaging as well as policy. In this piece, we weave together some of that work as well as the poll-tested messaging that is coming from the Race/Class Narrative and the Winning Jobs Narrative efforts, while adapting it for the Pennsylvania context. At the end, we provide some links to polling data to support each theme we highlight here.

New Report Shows Romney Child Tax Credit Proposal Falls Short
Press Release | 09/07/2022
Nationally, Plan Would Leave 1 in 4 Children Worse Off Compared to Current Law and Help Half as Many Low-Income Children as the 2021 Expansion of the Credit
Harrisburg, PA: With pressure mounting on federal lawmakers to find a way forward for expanding the Child Tax Credit, Sen. Mitt Romney’s CTC proposal is being pushed as a possible solution — but this proposal has big downsides that would harm some of the very people this credit is designed to help, according to a new analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The new report features detailed information about how the Romney plan affects families at different income levels nationally and in each state.

How Will President Biden’s Student Debt Relief Impact Pennsylvania?
Diana Polson | 09/12/2022
President Biden announced student debt relief by executive order in recent weeks in response to a profound barrier to economic stability for millions of Americans. Pennsylvanians know first-hand that the high cost of college prevents some from pursuing a higher education and can weigh down those who do attend with what is often a crushing amount of student debt. Total student loan debt has increased nearly fourfold since 2003 in Pennsylvania, with borrowers now owing a total of $76 billion in both federal and private loans.

Read the full report.



Ed Gainey: Pittsburgh can still power the future
Pittsburgh Post Gazette | 9/5/22

“The passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can move us towards powering our communities with locally made clean energy, electric vehicles and sustainably-produced building materials, all while creating good-paying union jobs and making wealthy corporations pay what they owe. These landmark pieces of legislation will provide critically needed climate, energy and tax reform funds for our long-ignored neighbors in communities in Aliquippa and Braddock. These laws put the needs of working families first and will set us on the path toward a sustainable future that safeguards our climate and puts hundreds of thousands of folks to work building out the country’s domestic supply chain for the sustainable products of the future. As Americans, we’ve never been presented with a challenge we weren’t up to solving. Throughout our history, we’ve worked together to solve big problems and build a better future for generations to come. And no one has contributed more to American prosperity and progress than the working people of Pittsburgh. We know that we have work to do to undo generational harm — but I believe there isn’t anything we can’t accomplish when we work together.”