Senate Moves Forward with Compromised $550 Billion Infrastructure Package
Aug 2, 2021
The White House and a group of bipartisan Senators have reached agreement on an infrastructure package including $550 billion in new spending over 5 years. The agreement, which advanced to the Senate floor last week on a 67-32 vote, has been in the works for weeks after the Biden administration announced they would be working on a smaller compromise with the bipartisan group of Senators. The text of the legislation was not immediately made available, but Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed his commitment to moving the bill forward.
Once the Senate passes the bill, the House will need to take up the legislation once again, a tough sell for many progressives who argue the nation’s infrastructure needs far exceed the Senate’s $550 billion in new spending. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said that while she is rooting for the Senate bill to succeed, she cannot commit to the House passing the Senate bill as-is.
The large, bipartisan infrastructure package will likely include many smaller bills, such as the $73 billion “Energy Infrastructure Act,” which supports nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, and carbon capture. This bill includes provisions to bolster the nation’s electric grid and make it more resilient in the face of cyber threats and natural disasters - the deal also includes $46 billion critical infrastructure resilience, including cybersecurity, flood and wildfire mitigation, environmental restoration, and weatherization.
The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) will also likely be part of the larger package. DWWIA would invest $35 billion in state water infrastructure programs across the United States. The funds will be used to upgrade aging infrastructure, address threats associated with climate change, and invest in modern technologies to bring the nation’s infrastructure up to date.
ASME will continue to report on developments to the infrastructure package as it continues through Congress.