- A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday finally reached an agreement on the key details of a sweeping infrastructure bill that includes $550 billion in new spending.
- The legislation would pour federal money into physical infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, passenger rails, drinking water and waste water systems.
- Significant details are unknown about the bill, which has yet to be released in full — especially regarding its offsets.
After weeks of haggling behind closed doors, a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday finally reached an agreement on the key details of a sweeping infrastructure bill that will include $550 billion in new spending.
The legislation would pour federal money into physical infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, passenger rails, drinking water and waste water systems, as well as expanding high-speed internet and climate-related infrastructure. The White House says the investments will add an average 2 million jobs per year as part of President Joe Biden's agenda.
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Significant details are unknown about the bill, which has yet to be released in full — especially regarding its offsets. Here's what we know so far, according to a fact sheet from the White House:
- Roads and bridges: $110 billion in new funding will be allocated toward roads, bridges and other major projects. That includes $40 billion for bridge repair and replacement, which the White House touts as the largest such investment since the interstate highway system was proposed in the New Deal era, and $17.5 billion for unspecified "major projects." The deal will also reauthorize a bipartisan surface transportation program for the next five years.
- Road safety: The deal puts $11 billion toward reducing car crashes and fatalities, including through a "Safe Streets for All" program. It will also double the funding that is sent to other programs that improve road safety.
- Public transit: The plan allocates $39 billion to modernize public transit and improv access for people with disabilities. The investment — the largest of its kind in U.S. history, the White House says — will replace thousands of buses and other transit vehicles with zero-emission upgrades.
- Passenger and freight rail: The deal would invest $66 billion to eliminate Amtrak's backlog, modernize trains and expand service.
- Electric vehicles and buses: The plan includes $15 billion in spending for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electric buses and transit.
- One billion dollars would also be put toward a program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure. The White House notes, for instance, that parts of the highway system were built through Black neighborhoods.
- Airports, ports and waterways: The bill dedicates $17 billion toward port infrastructure and $25 billion toward airports.
- Water infrastructure: The plan includes $50 billion for investment in weatherization and protection against climate-change fueled disasters like droughts and floods.
- Clean water: The plan has $55 billion in funding for clean drinking water, which includes replacing all the country's lead pipes and service lines.
- High-Speed Internet: The deal includes $65 billion in spending for broadband internet infrastructure.
- Environmental clean-up: The plan includes $21 billion in funding for environmental remediation, including cleaning up superfund sites, reclaiming abandoned mine land and capping abandoned oil and gas wells.
- Power infrastructure: The plan includes $73 billion to shift the country from fossil fuels to clean energy. It invests in updated power infrastructure and research in technology like nuclear, carbon capture and clean hydrogen.
Clarification: This article was clarified to reflect that the interstate highway system was proposed in the era of the New Deal.