Congress Passes $1.2 TRILLION Infrastructure Bill in Late-Night Vote
Washington D.C. — After months of rancor and a marathon day of negotiations on Capitol Hill, Congress approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill.
On Friday in a late-night vote of 228 to 206, the House of Representatives passed the 2,740-page Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA).
Only six Democrats voted in opposition while 13 Republicans broke with the majority of their party to support the measure.
The IIJA now heads to President Biden’s desk where he is expected to swiftly sign it into law.
REMINDER: What’s in the bill?
The legislation allocates $477 billion in new funding over five years for surface transportation programs with roughly $347 billion authorized for highway projects.
Among the long list of spending initiatives, the bill specifically dedicates:
• $39 billion for transit,
• $11 billion for “transportation safety programs,”
• $66 billion for rail,
• $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations,
• $5 billion for zero/low emissions buses,
• $17 billion for ports,
• $25 billion for airports,
• $73 billion to rebuild the electric grid,
• $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure, and
•$65 billion for broadband.
The IIJA includes trucking provisions such as:
• Mandating newly manufactured heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles be equipped with an automatic emergency braking system,
• An apprenticeship program paving the way for truckers as young as 18 years of age to operate cross-country,
• Conducting a heavy truck crash study,
• Formation of a Women in Trucking Advisory Board,
• Formation of a task force to study and combat predatory lease-purchase programs,
• A review of data from electronic logging devices, and
• Commissioning a national vehicle-miles-traveled pilot program including for commercial truckers.
What’s notably not in the bill?
On the plus side, the final version of the bill does NOT include a provision to increase motor carriers’ liability insurance minimum from $750,000 to $2 million — as the House’s first version did.
Conversely, the IIJA does not provide a single cent for the specific purpose of addressing the nationwide truck parking shortage — the House’s original bill included $1 billion for such projects.
Will the IIJA add to the national debt?
Yes. While the Biden Administration vowed the legislation would be completely paid for and not add to America’s nearly $29 trillion (and growing) national debt, a Congressional Budget Office report concluded it will actually increase the deficit by $256 billion over ten years.
Democrats now turn their sights on passing President Biden’s unprecedented $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” social spending spree.
A deal reached on Friday between the progressives and the so-called moderates led to the passage of the IIJA.
In exchange for progressives agreeing to first approve the infrastructure bill, moderates committed to supporting the social spending bill — with the goal of passing it by Thanksgiving.