After months of bipartisan negotiations, and tension political infighting, the House passed Friday's largest infrastructure package in American history. It secured $1.2 trillion in funding, including $550 million in new investments for bridges, waterways and public transit. Here's all you need to know about the huge spending.
Newly passed legislation includes $110 billion for roads, bridges, $65 million to equip all Americans with broadband internet, $1Billion for the Great Lakes, and many other items. Getty Images
The Key Facts
Roads and bridges: The 2,702-page bill's spending includes roughly $110 billion in new funds that would be used to improve the nation's roads, bridges, and other transportation programs. Public transit: This package includes $39 billion in federal funding for public transit. It will modernize and improve accessibility for the elderly and persons with disabilities and fix more than 24,000 buses, thousands of miles of rail tracks, and 5,000 train cars. Amtrak: This legislation represents the largest investment in passenger railroad since Amtrak was founded 50 years ago. $66 billion has been earmarked to high-speed rail, safety improvement, Amtrak grants, and modernizing the rail route linking Washington, D.C. to Boston. Broadband internet: The infrastructure bill adds $65 billion to the billions authorized last year by the American Rescue Plan. It will boost the country's broadband infrastructure to ensure that every American has high-speed Internet access. One in four Americans is expected to be eligible to receive a $30-per month subsidy to help pay for it. To satisfy spending-shy lawmakers, many clean-energy measures were removed from the bill. However, the $65 billion investment will upgrade the nation's electric grid with thousands of miles worth of new transmission lines and funds to support environmentally-friendly smart-grid technology. Electric cars, buses, and ferries: The bill includes $7.5 billion to build the nation's first network for electric-vehicle charging points along highway corridors. In addition, $5 billion has been allocated for zero-emission buses, including thousands of electric school buses, and $2.5 billion for ferry service. Clean drinking water: The legislation contains a $55 billion provision to replace all of the nation's lead pipes, service lines, and other infrastructures. This is the largest ever investment in clean drinking waters. Great rivers and lakes: Of the $48 billion allocated to water infrastructure improvements, $1 billion will be devoted to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This is a massive clean-up effort that targets toxic hot spots or areas of high industrial pollution in the Great Lakes region. Airports: The bill has more than $25 billion to modernize America's airways. According to the Airports Council International, this will allow for the completion of over $115 billion in project backlogs. Road safety: This deal invests $11 million in transportation safety programs. It includes a program that will help localities and states reduce fatalities and crashes in their communities, especially among pedestrians and cyclists.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act was passed Friday night by the House. It was approved 226 to208. President Joe Biden will sign it almost two months after the Senate first approved it.
Although President Joe Biden released his infrastructure plan in March, Democratic Party leaders were opposed to its passage by both sides. Senate Democrats, eager to boost clean-energy funding, fought it out with Republicans, weary about increased spending, for months until finally reaching an agreement on cost reductions of approximately $800 billion in June. The House Progressives threatened to withhold their support for the bill if it didn't move forward with Biden’s separate Build Back better budget proposal. This would allow spending for Democratic priorities not included in the infrastructure package. To avoid Republican support, the budget will be passed with 51 votes instead the usual 60. This would require a tiebreaking vote by Vice President Kamala Hariri and support from all 50 Senate Democrats (moderates included like Sens). Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Kyrsten Sinema, (D-Ariz.), were both unwilling to accept the original price tag of $3.5 billion. After weeks of negotiations, a $1.8 trillion proposal has been reached.
256 billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill's infrastructure spending could increase the nation's deficit by nearly half over the next ten years. This means that almost half of the proposed new spending would be added to the $29 trillion national debt.
What to Watch
The House leaders hope to pass the Build back Better plan this month. Even if the bill passes the lower chamber, Sinema and Manchin have not yet stated their support for the reduced proposal. Monday's Manchin stated that Democrats must allow for "complete transparency and analysis" of the bill before moving it forward.
House passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill after Days of Wrangling, but Democrats Social Spending Bill is Delayed (Forbes).
Biden unveils a new proposal for social spending. Here's what remains after $2 Trillion in cuts (Forbes).
Here are the Top Reasons Democrats' $3.5 Trillion Budget plan Could Have a Significant Impact on Every American (Forbes).
Senate passes $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure bill after months of negotiations
"Quit playing games": Manchin demands Progressives Pass the Infrastructure Package but declines support for spending bill (Forbes).