“To answer the direct question: We have a deal.”
Those were President Biden’s words as he announced a new bipartisan agreement on a potential infrastructure bill at the White House.
The plan will involve approximately $579 billion in additional spending. In Biden’s original infrastructure proposal, climate change was a central focus of the plan. Details are still emerging of this new agreement, but it would seem climate change is no longer a primary focus.
- $312 billion will go to transportation, with $109 billion invested in roads, bridges and other major projects, $66 billion in passenger and freight rail and $49 billion in public transit
- Only $15 billion will go toward electric vehicle infrastructure and electric buses and transit, a fraction of what Biden first proposed
- The plan would put $266 billion into nontransportation infrastructure
- It includes $73 billion for power, $65 billion for broadband and $55 billion for water
“The group proposed various methods to pay for the plan. They do not include an increased gas tax or electric vehicle user fee, which Democrats opposed, or an increase to the corporate tax rate, which Republicans resisted.”
Not everyone is happy. Progressives have voiced discontent with the reduced total spending amount and that climate change, health care, and education are not a big focus of the deal.
According to CNBC:
“The current deal is ‘way too small. Paltry, pathetic,’ Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said minutes before Biden’s announcement. ‘It has to be combined with a second much more robust, adequate package, to be deserving of a vote, and I am very hopeful that it will be followed by another package.’”
Only time will tell if progressives succeed in restoring the Green New Deal initiatives originally lined out in Biden’s first proposal, such as the Civilian Climate Corps program and big spending boosts for wind and solar power.
Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi have indicated they will try to push a bigger, additional package through Congress without Republican support.
To read the whole story at CNBC click here.
June 24, 2021