President Biden and Vice President Harris announced their support June 24 for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, which proposes spending $1.2 trillion over eight years and includes $579 billion in new funding that allocates $312 billion to transportation and $266 billion to other infrastructure, including water and broadband.
The Biden administration says the plan “makes transformational and historic investments in clean transportation infrastructure, clean water infrastructure, universal broadband infrastructure, clean power infrastructure, remediation of legacy pollution and resilience to the changing climate. Cumulatively across these areas, the Framework invests two-thirds of the resources that the President proposed in his American Jobs Plan.”
Biden has called on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and send it to his desk. He also is asking for Congress to pass a budget resolution and legislation that makes his full Build Back Better vision a reality, as the framework is more than $1 trillion short of his initial plans).
According to a fact sheet released by the White House, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework calls for a number of investments:
- the largest federal investment in public transit in history and the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak;
- the repair and rebuilding of roads and bridges, including the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system;
- the construction of a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers along highways and in rural and disadvantaged communities;
- electrifying thousands of school and transit buses across the country;
- eliminating the nation’s lead service lines and pipes in the largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in American history;
- connecting Americans to reliable high-speed internet while also driving down prices for internet service;
- upgrading power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy;
- creating an Infrastructure Financing Authority that will leverage billions of dollars into clean transportation and clean energy;
- addressing legacy pollution to advance environmental justice; and
- preparing more of our infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, cyber attacks and extreme weather events.
The framework is financed through a combination of closing the tax gap, redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees and the macroeconomic impact of infrastructure investment, the White House says.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework
|Roads, bridges, major projects||$109|
|Passenger and Freight Rail||$66|
|Electric buses / transit||$7.5|
|Ports & Waterways||$16|
|Power with grid authority||$73|
|Western water storage||$5|
New spending + baseline (over five years) = $973B; New spending + baseline (over eight years) = $1,209B
Some trade associations have shared their thoughts on the framework.
Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, Arlington, Virginia, released the following statement: “Infrastructure matters to every family, community and manufacturer in the United States. Today’s bipartisan announcement is an incredibly positive step toward much-needed investment in our nation’s electric grid, roads, bridges, transit hubs, vehicle charging stations and other critical infrastructure needs. Not only does U.S. aluminum depend on reliable infrastructure to ship billions of pounds of aluminum across the country each year, the metal itself is essential to making these planned investments a reality. For example, aluminum is the most widely used material in modern electricity transmission and distribution systems.
“Lawmakers should also work to shore up U.S. recycling systems as part of any major infrastructure spending,” Dobbins continues. “Increased recycling of materials, which has been in decline in the U.S. recent years, will help to make domestic supply chains more secure and resilient. We hope today’s announcement is a sign of things to come. And we encourage Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the White House to negotiate in good faith—and compromise as necessary—to address the major issues confronting our country.”
The Washington-based Associated Builders and Contractors President and CEO Michael Bellaman says, “ABC is encouraged by the still-developing bipartisan agreement on an investment in America’s infrastructure. This is an important step towards getting the infrastructure investment American taxpayers need and deserve. While we wait for more details to emerge, ABC remains concerned with the two-pronged approach emerging from Democrats in Congress and the Biden administration, which would seek to pair this agreement with a subsequent effort to use the budget reconciliation process to enact partisan tax hikes and restrictive labor policies concurrent with any potential bipartisan agreement.”
He continues, “Any infrastructure package should ensure that small construction businesses, which make up 99 percent of the industry, flourish through fair and open competition, which means the Biden administration and Congress must avoid enacting partisan policies such as the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, government-mandated project labor agreements and a one-size-fits-all approach to workforce development. A bipartisan deal should mean everyone is welcome to rebuild America, regardless of whether they are affiliated with a labor union.”