The House Friday passed the bipartisan plan to spend an extra $550 billion to revitalize the nation’s transportation and utility infrastructure, mostly in the next five years, meeting a key goal of President Joe Biden: a large, bipartisan accomplishment.
With the Senate already having passed the legislation, it now goes to Biden for his signature.
House passage came after days of last-minute negotiations and delays resulting from friction between progressive and moderate Democrats. The progressives abandoned attempts to secure guarantees from the Senate on what they could pass in the larger tax and spending plan, which will rely solely on Democratic votes.
Here’s what’s in the legislation:
The bill spends $110 billion on roads, bridges and other major projects. This includes $40 billion for bridge repairs and replacement, as well as about $16 billion for major projects. It also would reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years.
The plan includes an extra $39 billion to modernize transit and improve accessibility. In addition, the deal would continue existing transit programs for five years as part of the surface transportation reauthorization.
The deal would allocate $66 billion to Amtrak for maintenance, to upgrade tracks in the Northeast Corridor and bring rail service—including high-speed rail—to other areas of the country.
The deal includes about $65 billion for power grid upgrades, including building thousands of miles of new transmission lines for renewable energy as well as research for new technologies like nuclear reactors and carbon capture.
The bill would spend $7.5 billion to build a nationwide network of charging stations for electric vehicles to help accelerate the adoption of non-fossil fuel cars.
The plan includes $5 billion for new school buses, although the program would allow half of that to go toward buses that run on natural gas or diesel. The plan also includes $2.5 billion for ferries.
The plan would provide $25 billion for airport repairs and efforts to reduce congestion and emissions. That includes encouraging the use of electric and other low-carbon technologies. It would also invest $17 billion in port infrastructure.
Resilience, Climate Change
The legislation includes $50 billion to help communities mitigate climate change and ward off cyber attacks. The funds include money to protect against droughts and floods.
The package spends $55 billion to improve drinking water, including dedicated funding to replace lead pipes and remove dangerous chemicals.
The plan would invest $65 billion in high-speed internet to ensure that every household can access reliable broadband service.
The bill has $21 billion dedicated for environmental remediation to address past pollution that harms public health.
The plan also includes $1 billion to reconnect communities that have been divided by past infrastructure projects, such as highways splicing through established areas.
The plan would spend $11 billion on transportation safety, including programs to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
Here are some of the major ways that lawmakers said their plan would offset the cost of the spending:
- Unspent pandemic relief funds appropriated in earlier legislation;
- Assumptions that the bill would generate additional tax revenue economic growth generated from the infrastructure improvements;
- Recouped unemployment benefits claimed by fraudsters and from states that ended enhanced benefits early;
- Delaying the Medicare rebate rule enacted under former President Donald Trump;
- Increasing tax reporting rules for cryptocurrency investors;
- Fees on government-sponsored enterprises;
- Spectrum auction sales and a Superfund fee on corporations that pollute.