Considered one of the biggest public works legislation in the last few decades, US' $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill focuses on building roads, bridges, ports and high-speed internet etc. The vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is likely to take place in the coming days.
US senators on August 1 introduced a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with an aim to upgrade key infrastructure in the country.
Considered one of the biggest public works legislation in the last few decades, this bill focuses on building roads, bridges, ports and high-speed internet etc. The vote on this bill is likely to take place in the coming days.
A multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package was one of the key highlights of US President Joe Biden’s campaign in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2020. This comes as a significant achievement for the Biden administration that prioritised the bill and introduced it in its first year itself.
What does it include?
As per US Senators, the bill that runs into 2,702 pages, includes $550 billion in new infrastructure expenditure and $450 billion of funds that were approved previously.
The bill proposes the highest spending of $110 billion on the construction of new roads and bridges across the country. It also proposes to spend $73 billion to facilitate America’s switch from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. Investments will also be made towards the upgradation of the power infrastructure.
A total of $66 billion has been earmarked to boost railway services. Apart from ramping up infrastructure, maintenance of Amtrak trains and the expansion of services is also on the cards.
About $65 billion shall be spent on providing high-speed internet access to all Americans with the help of broadband infrastructure and $55 billion will be used for ensuring clean drinking water and the replacement of pipes and service lines. Another $50 billion has been set aside to ensure infrastructure withstands the impact of climate change and cyber-attacks.
Public transport is expected to see a massive overhaul. With $39 billion set to be spent, it will become more modernised and more accessible for senior citizens and people with disabilities.
According to the proposal, airports will get $25 billion for repair and maintenance. The focus will also be laid on reducing congestion and bringing down carbon emissions. As much as $21 billion has been proposed to be spent on finding remedies to environmental issues and address pollution in uncapped oil and gas wells, superfund sites and abandoned mines. Ports will get $17 billion to ramp up their infrastructure.
America has pledged $15 billion for a push to electric vehicles, buses, and trucks. This amount will be spent on building the adequate infrastructure needed for charging electric vehicles.
A total of $11 billion shall be dedicated to a programme called “Safe Streets for All” that aims to bring down road accidents and fatalities and enhance the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
This infrastructure bill pegged at $1.2 trillion is going to be the biggest public works legislation of recent times.
As per a few legislators, $250 billion of the COVID-19 relief fund will be redirected to be spent on infrastructure. It will be inclusive of $50 billion that was earmarked for federal unemployment relief and was not utilised by certain governors.
Another $50 billion that was paid out in fraudulent unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be recovered and subsequently redirected for this. The Medicare rebate rule passed by the previous administration led by Donald Trump is expected to be delayed, which will add another $50 billion that can be spent.
The US government is expected to bring in $30 billion by consolidating tax reporting requirements and implementation for cryptocurrency.