With the so-called compromise “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework” on pause, after the President “blew-up” the apparent agreement only hours after announcing it (which he has subsequently tried to walk back), attention has turned to another piece of legislation dealing with surface transportation needs. According to reports, the House of Representatives will shortly vote on a five-year $715 billion dollar bill to fund highways, bridges, and rail needs. The “INVEST in America Act” also contains climate-change provisions, such as $8.2 billion for carbon reduction and $6.2 billion for climate mitigation and resiliency improvements tucked in with the more traditional infrastructure projects. Notwithstanding the House action, the bill still needs to be reconciled with the Senate version, which the Environment and Public Works Committee approved unanimously in May; a task that will be difficult, though provisions in the measures could get added to a broader infrastructure bill.
As noted in earlier stories, a bipartisan group of senators had struck a deal with the White House last week on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, which given the mix messages coming out of the White House, faces a long and arduous process to get the bill through Congress. Complicating matters is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to advance the legislation until the Senate also passes a tandem multi-trillion-dollar bill focused on social programs such that include education, paid leave, and childcare. To accomplish this bigger endeavor, Congress needs to adopt a budget that allows for Democrats to use reconciliation to advance the measure, after its own party members work out top-line numbers between themselves.
See, INVEST Fact Sheet for details.