The Infrastructure Bill is a Big Win for Biden & Bipartisanship; More Than Just Roads & Bridges
The House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill yesterday, 228 to 206. It will now go to President Biden for his signature. It is a major legislative achievement for the Biden administration and it demonstrated that bipartisanship can still succeed if you don't view politics as a zero-sum game. Thirteen Republicans voted in favor of passage despite opposition from GOP Party leaders.
The legislation represents a major investment in building a 21st century infrastructure, keeping America competitive in the global economy. President Biden made the point following the vote in the House.
Biden Statement, Washington Post: “This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It is a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve done since we built the Interstate Highway System and the Space Race,” in the 1950s and ’60s."
Republicans that opposed the bill targeted provisions that went beyond just fixing the nation's crumbling physical infrastructure to address universal broadband access, green energy, and the climate crisis.
Washington Post: "Many of the investments aim to promote green energy and combat some of the country’s worst sources of pollution. At Biden’s behest, for example, lawmakers approved $7.5 billion to build out a national network of vehicle charging stations. Reflecting the deadly, costly consequences of global warming, the package also allocates another roughly $50 billion to respond to emergencies including droughts, wildfires and major storms."
Specifics on what the legislation includes from Axios:
$110 billion toward roads, bridges and other much-needed infrastructure fix-ups across the country; $40 billion is new funding for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation and $17.5 billion is for major projects;
$73 billion for the country's electric grid and power structures;
$66 billion for rail services;
$65 billion for broadband;
$55 billion for water infrastructure;
$21 billion in environmental remediation;
$47 billion for flooding and coastal resiliency as well as "climate resiliency," including protections against fires, etc.;
$39 billion to modernize transit, which is the largest federal investment in public transit in history, according to the White House;
$25 billion for airports;
$17 billion in port infrastructure;
$11 billion in transportation safety programs;
$7.5 billion for electric vehicles and EV charging; $2.5 billion in zero-emission buses.
The House is also set to vote on Biden's "Build Back Better" reconciliation package in the coming week. It will likely pass in the House, but still faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content