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Biden & bipartisan lawmakers announce infrastructure deal, Dems to move second bill via reconciliation
Do you support or oppose the bipartisan infrastructure package?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- A group of bipartisan lawmakers met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday and announced that they reached a deal on a $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure framework that they hope will have the support of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
- Biden endorsed the plan at a White House press conference, where he was flanked by the group of 10 centrist senators who originally developed the package. The broader group of 20 bipartisan senators, which is also evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, offered the following joint statement on the compromise:
“Today, we’re proud to advance this bipartisan proposal to make a historic investment in America’s critical infrastructure needs, advance cleaner technologies, create jobs, and strengthen American competitiveness, without raising taxes. This agreement shows that the two parties can still come together, find common ground, and get things done that matter to everyday Americans. We are happy to have President Biden’s support, and will now get to work enlisting the support of colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
- Democrats also indicated that they will move a second infrastructure package along party-lines through the reconciliation process. The size of the second package will be negotiated by Democratic lawmakers, but Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) suggested a $6 trillion reconciliation bill, while moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) called for it to be smaller.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicated the House will wait for the Senate to pass both the bipartisan bill and Democrats’ reconciliation bill before it acts on either. She said at a press conference, “There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill, unless we are going to have the reconciliation bill.”
- Biden agreed with that approach at a press event later in the day when he said of the bipartisan bill, “If this is the only thing that comes to me I’m not signing. It’s in tandem.” Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Biden and Pelosi “pulled the rug out from under their bipartisan negotiators with these unserious demands” but added that he hopes the bipartisan group “can get their good-faith efforts back on track.”
- Because the requirements of budget reconciliation include the adoption of a budget resolution, final passage of either package may not occur before both chambers leave the Capitol for August recess. That leaves plenty of time in the process for things to change yet again. Here’s a look at what’s in the bipartisan framework that senators from both sides of the aisle agreed to with the Biden administration.
What’s in the bipartisan infrastructure deal?
- $109 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects ― including the Senate-passed bipartisan water infrastructure bill and the committee-passed surface transportation bill.
- $66 billion for passenger and freight rail repair and expansion.
- $49 billion for public transit projects.
- $25 billion for airports.
- $20 billion for infrastructure financing.
- $15 billion split evenly for electric vehicle infrastructure and electric public transportation.
- $11 billion for safety projects involving traffic, trucking, and pipelines.
OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING
- $73 billion for power, including electric grid authority.
- $65 billion for broadband.
- $55 billion for water projects.
- $47 billion for disaster resilience projects.
- $21 billion for environmental remediation projects.
- $100 billion in funding will come from private investments in public-private partnerships.
- $80 billion from unused COVID-19 relief funding that was allocated for infrastructure.
- $100 billion net from increased enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service (after an investment of $40 billion in the IRS).
- $72 billion net from unemployment program integrity enforcement (after an $8 billion investment).
- $65 billion from Federal Communication Commission spectrum rights auctions.
- $30 billion to allow states to sell or purchase toll credits to bring in new revenue or apply credits to meet state-local match requirements with an increase in the non-federal share.
- $25 billion from enhanced COVID-19 unemployment benefits that were rejected by states.
- $20 billion from previously allocated broadband funding.
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / peterspiro)
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