Congress approves historic bipartisan infrastructure bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today, by a vote of 228 – 206, approved a historic $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to repair America’s roads and bridges, improve its public transit systems and create millions of good-paying jobs across the country.
The move comes after lawmakers in the House reached an agreement Friday to vote on a separate $1.75 trillion spending bill – known as the Build Back Better Act – no later than the week of Nov. 15. That legislation would, among other things, lower health care and child care costs for millions of hardworking families and restore the nation’s standing as a global leader in the ongoing fight against the climate crisis.
“These two pieces of legislation, combined, represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally transform our nation for the better,” said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “They will not only lay the foundation for us to grow our economy and increase our competitiveness, but they will also create millions of good-paying jobs in the process. They will make health care and child care more affordable for millions of hardworking families. They will make housing and higher education more accessible, and they will be the largest investment we have ever made to lower our greenhouse emissions and help tackle the climate crisis.”
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was approved by the Senate in August, now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
The funding it will provide represents the largest investment Congress has ever made to modernize and expand the nation’s public transit systems. It will also improve Americans’ access to clean drinking water and reliable, high-speed internet, and it will create the first-ever network of electric-vehicle charging stations throughout the country.
More specifically, the legislation will, among other things, provide:
- $110 billion to repair and rebuild America’s major roads, bridges and highways.
- $11 billion to fund transportation safety programs, including $5 billion for the Safe Streets for All program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in their communities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
- $39 billion to improve and modernize America’s public transit systems by repairing aging infrastructure, upgrading bus and rail fleets, and making transit stations more accessible for all users.
- $66 billion to modernize America’s railways and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic.
- $7.5 billion to build the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric-vehicle charging stations in the United States, including along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work and shop.
- $5 billion to deliver thousands of electric school buses to communities across the country, an initiative that will not only help drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles but will also remove thousands of diesel buses from some of the nation’s most vulnerable communities.
- $17 billion to improve the infrastructure at America’s ports to help reduce bottlenecks and expedite commerce.
- $25 billion to improve the infrastructure at America’s airports to reduce congestion and lower emissions.
- $50 billion to protect communities from droughts, floods and wildfires and improve weatherization.
- $55 billion to ensure all Americans have access to clean drinking water by removing and replacing all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.
- $65 billion to ensure all Americans have access to high-speed, broadband internet by building the physical infrastructure needed to reach more rural communities and requiring service providers to offer a low-cost broadband option for low-income families.
- $21 billion to clean up the nation’s Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells.
- $65 billion to upgrade the nation’s eclectic grid by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy.
Text of the bipartisan infrastructure bill is available here.
A summary of the legislation is available here.