Bipartisan deal spends far less than original proposals
It won’t be nearly as big as originally proposed, but it appears Congress is actually going to pass an infrastructure bill to help modernize transit and water systems. The Senate voted 67-32 to move forward on $550 billion in new federal infrastructure spending, clearing the way for a formal vote on the bill, which is expected to pass.
- $66 billion investment in Amtrak passenger rail
- $65 billion in broadband internet deployment
- $55 billion for clean water investments
- $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation
- $39 billion for modernizing public transit and improving access for the elderly and people with disabilities
- $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle chargers nationwide
The deal falls well short of the $2.25 trillion proposal President Biden made in the spring. The deal came after a larger package totaling $3.5 trillion that Democrats could pass with 50 votes in the Senate through reconciliation was shot down by Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema.
“After reviewing the Senate Budget Committee’s outline, I have told Senate leadership and President Biden that I support many of the goals in this proposal to continue creating jobs, growing American competitiveness, and expanding economic opportunities for Arizonans,” Sinema said in a statement. “I have also made clear that while I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s everyday families get ahead.”
While the bill does set some spending records, U.S. infrastructure received a C- grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which estimated the cost to bring things up to an acceptable level at $3.6 trillion over 10 years. The C- was actually the first time in 20 years that U.S. infrastructure was out of the D range in the quadrennial report.