Wednesday of this week [July 29,, 2021] on a vote of 67-32 the U.S. Senate moved to begin consideration of the bipartisan infrastructure deal. This is a significant step in realizing a major plank of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. A summary of where the major funding would be directed includes:
- $110 billion for roads and bridges. The $40 billion for bridges is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system
- $39 billion for public transit. The money would be used to modernize bus and subway fleets and bring new service to communities. That’s about $10 billion less than senators negotiating the agreement had originally designated.
- $66 billion for passenger and freight rail. The money would be used to reduce Amtrak’s maintenance backlog, improve Amtrak’s 457-mile-long Northeast Corridor as well as other routes and make safety improvements to rail grade crossings.
- $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, which the administration says is critical to accelerating the use of electric vehicles to curb climate change.
- $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses and hybrids, reducing reliance on school buses that run on diesel fuel.
- $17 billion for ports and $25 billion for airports to reduce congestion and address maintenance backlogs.
- $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure, including funding to replace all of the nation’s service lines using lead pipe.
- $65 billion to expand broadband access, a particular problem for rural areas and tribal communities. Most of the money would be made available through grants to states.
- $21 billion for cleaning up superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap obsolete gas wells.
- $73 billion for modernizing the nation’s electric grid and expanding the use of renewable energy.
Momentum is building to usher in a new era, one that puts working people first. To level the playing field for workers from decades of corporate and CEO excesses we must continue to advocate for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.