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Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal with Bipartisan Support

On August 10, the U.S. Senate passed, 67-32 vote, including 17 Republicans, a significant investment in the country’s infrastructure (hard and soft); passed with broad bipartisan support, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal now heads to the U.S. House.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes, over $500 billion in new spending, including:

Roads & Bridges — $110 billion 

  • Dedicated grant program to replace and repair bridges and increase funding for the major project competitive grant ~ programs. At the same time, the package preserves the tradition of significant federal highway aid to states.
  • $40 billion of new funding for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.

Safety — $11 billion 

  • Funds highway & pedestrian safety programs, including a significant investment in Safe Streets program that prevent death and serious injury on roads and streets.
  • It includes a new program to provide grants to community owned utilities to replace leaky and obsolete cast iron and bare steel natural gas pipelines, some of which are over 100 years old. It will more than double funding directed to programs that improve the safety of people and vehicles in our transportation system, including highway safety, truck safety, and pipeline and hazardous materials safety.

Transit & Rail — $66 billion 

  • Provides funding for the Amtrak National Network, expands intercity passenger rail and dedicates funding to the Northeast Corridor, which has incurred a severe repair backlog after Hurricane Sandy. Increases funding for freight rail and safety at rail-highway grade crossings. 
  • The legislation invests $66 billion in rail to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Within these totals, $22 billion would be provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.

Broadband — $65 billion 

  • Grants to states for development — $40 billion: This funding supports a formula-based grant program to states, territories and the District of Columbia for the purposes of broadband deployment. 
  • Private Activity Bonds (PABs) — $600 million: Based Off The Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act (S.1676), a Hassan-Capito proposal, this provision allows states zero issue PABs to finance broadband deployment, specifically for projects in rural areas where a majority of households do not have access to broadband.
  • Support for Rural Areas — $2 billion: The provision includes support for programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Tribal Grants — $2 billion: This provision will provide additional funding to the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which was established by the December COVID-19 relief package and is administered by NTIA. 

Airports, Ports & Waterways — $42.3 billion ($17.3B for ports & waterways, $25B for airports)

  • Funding for waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland Waterway improvements, port infrastructure, and land ports of entry through the Army Corps, DOT, Coast Guard, GSA, and DHS. 
  • Increased funds for the Airport Improvement grant program for runways, gates, & taxiways as well as a new Airport Terminal Improvement program for terminals, concessions, and multimodal connections. Improves Air Trafic Control infrastructure.

Electric Vehicles — $15 billion (includes low carbon & zero emission school busses & electric school busses and ferries) 

  • Designed to strategically deploy. EV, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, propane fueling infrastructure, and natural gas fueling ~ infrastructure. Includes a state formula program for EV charging infrastructure deployment.
  • Funds the production and procurement of electric vehicle and low carbon school buses and ferries, to include hydrogen fuel cells, liquefied natural gas, and other alternative fuel technologies.

Improving Power & Waterways — $55 billion 

  • Includes $23.4B for the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act. Provides additional funding to address PFAS and for lead remediation. 

Environmental Remediation — $47 billion 

  • Funding for cybersecurity to address critical infrastructure needs, waste management, flood mitigation, wildfire, drought, and coastal resiliency, ecosystem restoration, and weatherization.
  • The legislation invests $21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment in addressing the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods in American history, creating good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice. 

Power & Grid — $73 billion 

  • Includes the bipartisan Energy Infrastructure Act, which includes funds for grid reliability and resiliency; critical minerals and supply chains for clean energy technology: critical energy technologies like carbon capture, hydrogen, direct air capture, and energy efficiency; and energy demonstration projects from the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020. It also includes the 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit.

The bill now heads to the House for approval. We anticipate the House to consider the legislation in September when they return from the August recess.

 

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