Senate Passes Infrastructure Bill
Senate Passes $1.25B Infrastructure Bill: What you need to know
The COVID-19 crisis has further shed light on our nation’s long history of economic disparities and injustices from housing to healthcare to infrastructure. We are long overdue for an overhaul in policies and politics that address housing, infrastructure, climate change, health, and technology.
While the Biden Infrastructure Bill faces a rocky road in the House, it passed in the Senate with a 69-30 vote, a step in the right direction for driving change and creating opportunities.
The new investments would reach far beyond the traditional infrastructure projects for roads, bridges and railroads. There’s also money to improve Americans’ access to broadband, for electric school buses and to start addressing racial discrimination in infrastructure. The bipartisan plan focuses on three major areas of spending: transportation, utilities, and pollution cleanup. Additional funds were allocated to electric vehicle adoption and clean energy, though these were scaled back from the original plan.
Here are a few things you should know about what’s included in the bill:
- The new legislation would provide a $65 billion investment for improving the nation’s broadband system with the aim of offering lower-cost plans and programs for low-income households.
- Electric school buses would help districts across the country buy American-made, zero-emission busses reducing our carbon footprint. The bill also provides for an accessible nationwide network of plug-in chargers.
- New taxes on cryptocurrencies. Yes, there will be new reporting requirements on crypto transactions to help pay for the improvements proposed by the new legislation.
- At GROWTH we’re passionate about ending systemic racism and the impact on homeownership for BIPOC households. The new infrastructure bill proposes $1B to reconnect neighborhoods (primarily Black, LMI areas) that were cut off from the rest of the community by highways, utilities, and other infrastructure. Funds will be invested in community planning, design, demolition and improvements to streets and roads, parks, and other infrastructure. These funds will help redress historic inequities and injustices while helping to advance opportunities in Black and LMI neighborhoods.
Additional provisions in the bill include:
-Updating the nation’s electricity grid
-Funding for Amtrack and rail
-Grants for clean drinking water and replacement of contaminated pipes
-Restoration for the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, and San Francisco Bay
What’s not in the bill:
- Workforce development, part of GROWTH’s own mission, was cut leaving millions of people without the needed new skills or job search assistance for advancement.
- Increased funding for in-home care aimed at raising wages for workers who provide health care for older adults and people with disabilities was eliminated.
- Funding for public housing, child care centers, community colleges and modernizing public schools was struck from the bill leaving thousands of Americans without the resources or support to foster self-sufficiency.
- Cuts and reductions were made to research and development for U.S. manufacturing, clean energy credits, and research grants for HBCU’s.
For more information on the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Bill, check out these resources: