If someone asked you, “Hey, so what’s in this infrastructure bill that just passed?” could you answer them?
I want to talk about how we message this win over the coming weeks and months in my next post, but in order to do that, it’s important to know what’s in it. So here’s an overview of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
Roads & Bridges
$110B to repair highways, bridges and roads
$11B for transportation safety efforts
$1B to reconnect particularly Black neighborhoods that were divided by a highway going through the middle of them
$39B to expand transportation systems, improve access for people with disabilities, funds for state and local governments to buy zero or low emissions buses, and to tackle the backlog of repairing buses, trains, and stations
$66B to improve Amtrak rail services
$7.5B for electric car charging stations across the nation
$5B for electric school buses
$65B for broadband access to improve internet access for rural and tribal communities, and programs to lower the cost of access for low income households
Modernizing the Electric Grid
$65B to improve the reliability of the power grid and investments into more environmentally friendly electricity sources
Airports & Ports
$25B to improve airport runways, gates, terminals, and traffic control towers
$17B to repair ports, tackle backlogs, and reduce congestion
$15B to replace lead pipes
$10B to tackle water contamination issues
Moody’s Analytics says that this bill will add an average of 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years. (Source)
Also, this bill is being paid for primarily by using unspent funds from other programs, like unused COVID relief funds. MarketWatch has a great breakdown of the pay-fors HERE.
I saw some confusion online this weekend, so to be clear, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also referred to as BIF or the bipartisan infrastructure bill) was passed by the Senate back in August (with a dozen or so Republicans voting for it) and passed the House this past Friday (also with a handful of GOP votes.) It is now on Biden’s desk for his signature. It is a done deal.
The Build Back Better bill (BBB) has not yet passed either chamber but a lot of the recent news articles about infrastructure has been about this bill. This is the bill that’s full of social investments, and weaves perfectly with BIF to create a holistic infrastructure foundation. The House is not in session next week, but expect there to be a vote on the bill the week after that. This bill will not need any Republican Senators to pass because the Democrats are using a process called reconciliation which bypasses the filibuster.
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Your summaries and explanations are so helpful. There’s a lot to keep track of right now, and I trust what you put out. Thank you.
Thank you, Joanne. That means a lot.
I don’t know, so I have to ask. Aren’t Amtrak and airports private businesses in the States? Obviously all these things and places need upgrades, especially highways and bridges and stuff, but I am wondering if there is more corporate welfare involved in this bill than meets the eye? Your (previous) government has already spent trillions trying to support businesses that should have been allowed to die if they could not make it on their own, with a lot of that money going directly in administration pockets through bonuses and salary increases. I just hope this is not more of the same.
Amtrak is kind of an odd duck—it’s a for-profit company, but the government owns all its stock. As for airports, they are public entities, run by local municipalities fir the most part. They pay for their expenses by the people who use the airport. But, thats based on current usage. The federal investment is (I believe) is about investing in growth.
“Growth” is what is killing our planet. In the time that 90% or air travel was banned last year, the atmosphere started to clean up without us even trying. Imagine if air travel was severelyl limited forever. We might have a fighting chance to save Earth. As long as people insist on travelling by air, we are killing ourselves. But no one seems ro care but Greta.
But Amtrak, private but publicly owned. WEIRD.
I actually hope the government is investing in safety over growth. Making transportation safer for all is a good thing. But that wouldn’t sell, would it. 99% of people only care about the safety of themselves and their loved ones, and they believe they can keep themselves safe. But if life has taught us anything, no one can keep themselves safe. Chaos reigns suprême. I can die every time I step out of my house. But likewise, I can die by just staying home. Either way, I will die someday. I only hope I see it coming (not getting shot from behind) and that it is not too painful however long I can feel pain.
But now I am going off on tangents again. Thanks for your response.
How can we find out how funds will be dispersed? More specifically, to what extent will it be up to the states to apply for them? Republican led states have a history of leaving such federal money on the table and I fear that potential provisions of this bill will be undone. States did it with Medicaid expansion. More recently, my state, Florida, was the ONLY state in the country that did not submit a proposal for Covid funds for school improvements, thereby not receiving $1 BILLION. I hope you will address this issue in your follow-up blog. Thank you.
I’m happy to answer this question in a follow up post.
If the Bills have been passed with some Republican help, there’s hope yet.