Whats In The Infrastructure Bill

November 9, 2021

What’s IN the Infrastructure Bill?

A $1 trillion+ bill that impacts the roads you drive on, the bridges you cross, the water you drink and potentially the internet you're using right now.
What did you get for your money?

What Is It?

  • Price tag: approx. $1.2 trillion.
  • Half of the money funnels from *previously* allocated funds to existing projects; the other half is *new* spending for *new* projects over the next five years.
  • The Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support in August; the House of Representatives followed Friday night, November 5th.
  • The bill will become law with the president’s signature.

What's In It?

Here are some top allocations from the 2700+ page bill:

  • $110 billion for highways and roads.
  • $60+ billion *each* for areas like railways (specifically Amtrak in the Northeast), expanding broadband internet access, and the power grid.
  • $55 billion for clean drinking water.

Dollars & Cents

  • How Do We Pay For It? Some of this $ is from unspent COVID-19 relief money, “leftover” federal money for state unemployment insurance and other sources.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it will add more than $250B to the deficit over the next decade. The nonpartisan group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says its more like $350B.
  • The White House says this bill and their other efforts will create millions of jobs; economists say the true impact is TBD.

Why Vote Against It?

Democrats: All 50 Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill, along with the majority of House Democrats, but six House Democrats voted against it – they wanted to prioritize a larger social spending bill and programs.

Republicans: The infrastructure bill provides the Biden administration a “victory” (at the end of a week when Democrats, and arguably the White House, were defeated in elections) that will help usher in more spending.

While urgently encouraging Congress to pass the legislation, President Biden has not yet signed the bill into law, raising questions as to why. Some members of the business community have issued statements appealing to the President to sign the bill and start the funds flowing. The White House has indicated that it’s because Congress is not in session and President Biden wants to sign in the presence of the members who passed the bill.

Roads, transit, internet: What’s in the infrastructure bill (Associated Press)

Here’s what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill (CNN)

CBO Estimates Infrastructure Bill Would Add $256 Billion to Deficits (The Wall Street Journal)

Who are the 6 House Democrats who voted against the infrastructure bill? (USA Today)

GOP erupts over its House members bailing out Biden (Washington Post)

Excerpt the Washington Post showing how some Republicans feel about the vote:

And some Republicans are predictably furious — with undersold questions about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) future leadership of the party potentially in the offing … Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), in her typically understated fashion, warned last week that any Republican who voted for the bill would be “a traitor to our party, a traitor to their voters and a traitor to our donors.”

… The National Review summed it up accordingly: “Disgraceful House Republicans Rescue Biden’s Flailing Agenda”:

… [Thirteen] Republicans swooped in to rescue Pelosi, provide Biden with the biggest victory of his presidency, and put the rest of his reckless agenda on a glide path to passage in the House. This is a substantively bad decision that is political malpractice. It represents a betrayal … Politically, it’s unclear what Republicans are thinking …

Business groups urge Biden to swiftly sign infrastructure bill (The Hill)

by Jenna Lee,