After weeks of negotiations, President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators have announced a deal on infrastructure spending.
The agreement focuses on investments in roads, railways, bridges and broadband internet, but it does not include investments Biden has referred to as “human infrastructure,” including money allocated for child care and tax credits for families.
According to the White House, the price tag comes in at $1.2 trillion over eight years, with more than $500 billion in new spending. How the measure would be paid for was a central point in negotiations, with Republicans opposed to undoing any of the 2017 tax cuts.
The plan “makes transformational and historic investments in clean transportation infrastructure, clean water infrastructure, universal broadband infrastructure, clean power infrastructure, remediation of legacy pollution, and resilience to the changing climate,” said a White House fact sheet on the plan released Thursday.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., touted the plan with his colleagues at the White House announcement, saying: “There’s going to be a lot of jobs that come out of this.”
The bipartisan deal is just the beginning of what could be a long and difficult process. Biden told reporters Thursday that he will not sign any legislation unless it is paired with a separate bill to address other elements of his broader infrastructure proposal. It is unclear at this point whether the parallel process has enough Democratic support to pass it without any Republican votes.
Here’s a look at what’s included in the agreement, according to the White House fact sheet:
Transportation: $312 billion
Roads, bridges, major projects: $109 billion
Safety: $11 billion
Public transit: $49 billion
Passenger and freight rail: $66 billion
Electric vehicles: $7.5 billion
Electric buses/transit: $7.5 billion
Reconnecting communities: $1 billion
Airports: $25 billion
Ports and waterways: $16 billion
Infrastructure financing: $20 billion
Other infrastructure: $266 billion
Water: $55 billion
Broadband: $65 billion
Environmental remediation: $21 billion
Power, including grid authority: $73 billion
Western water storage: $5 billion
Resilience: $47 billion
Goals of the plan
The White House said the plan, known currently as “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework” would, according to the fact sheet:
- Improve healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding transit and rail networks across the country, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Repair and rebuild roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
- Build a national network of electric vehicle chargers along highways and in rural and disadvantaged communities.
- Electrify thousands of school and transit buses across the country to reduce harmful emissions and drive domestic manufacturing of zero emission vehicles and components.
- Eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes, delivering clean drinking water to up to 10 million American families and more than 400,000 schools and child care facilities that currently don’t have it, including in tribal nations and disadvantaged communities.
- Connect every American to reliable high-speed internet.
- Upgrade the power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy, including through a new grid authority.
- Create a first-of-its-kind Infrastructure Financing Authority that will leverage billions of dollars into clean transportation and clean energy.
- Make the largest investment in addressing legacy pollution in American history.
- Prepare more infrastructure for impacts of climate change, cyberattacks and extreme weather events.
How would they pay for it?
The White House said the plan will be paid for with unused coronavirus relief funds, unused unemployment insurance and sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, among other measures. Here’s a full look at the sources they’ve proposed, according to the fact sheet:
- Reduce the IRS tax gap.
- Unemployment insurance program integrity.
- Redirect unused unemployment insurance relief funds.
- Repurpose unused relief funds from 2020 emergency relief legislation.
- State and local investment in broadband infrastructure.
- Allow states to sell or purchase unused toll credits for infrastructure.
- Extend expiring customs user fees.
- Reinstate Superfund fees for chemicals.
- 5G spectrum auction proceeds.
- Extend existing spending restraints over mandatory government programs.
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve sales.
- Public-private partnerships, private activity bonds, direct pay bonds and asset recycling for infrastructure investment.
- The expectation that infrastructure investment will generate economic growth.