The House passes a trillion dollar infrastructure bill
A $548 billion infrastructure bill has passed the House of Representatives.
Late Friday night, the “Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act” (H.R. 3684) passed the House by a vote of 228-206.
The “Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act” will now proceed to President Biden’s signature given how the Senate already passed the legislation on August 10 by a 69-30 vote.
Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says that the supply chain challenges over the past year increase the need for this type of funding for agriculture.
“We can get supply right, and we can get demand right, but if we do not get infrastructure right, we, as an industry and as a broader economy, will not flourish. In addition to the overall stress confronting our global supply chain, a number of specific disruptions – Hurricane Ida, the Suez Canal, the I-40 bridge near Memphis, the Colonial Pipeline, etc. – have provided a vivid reminder that if one of our critical junctures goes awry for any number of reasons, the consequences to the broader economy can be profound,” Steenhoek says.
He added, “For agriculture, a catastrophic failure at one of the locks and dams – many constructed in the 1930s – would suffocate farmers’ ability to meet the demand of our international customers. The significant number of structurally deficient and load-restricted bridges in rural America imposes significant detours and, as a result, millions of dollars of unnecessary costs into our food delivery system. During this period of rising inflation, we need to ensure that our transportation system moderates costs, rather than inflaming them.
Key provisions of the bill – specifically the $110 billion in funding for roads and bridges and the $17 billion for ports and waterways – will enhance the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture, Steenhoek says.
The bill provides $548 billion in additional spending. When combined with existing baseline infrastructure spending, total funding for infrastructure will be approximately $944 billion over five years and $1.2 trillion over eight years.
The major funding categories for the legislation are as follows:
Transportation categories ($284 billion; 52% of new spending):
• Roads, bridges, and major projects: $110 billion
• Bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation: $40 billion
• Passenger & freight rail: $66 billion
• Public transit: $39 billion
• Airports: $25 billion
• Ports and waterways: $17 billion
• Safety: $11 billion
• Electric vehicle infrastructure: $7.5 billion
• Electric/zero emission buses: $5 billion
• Electric/zero emission ferries: $2.5 billion
• Reconnecting communities: $1 billion
Other categories ($256 billion; 48% of new spending)
• Electric and power infrastructure: $65 billion
• High-speed internet: $65 billion
• Clean drinking water: $55 billion
• Resilience and western water infrastructure: $50 billion
• Environmental remediation: $21 billion
Thirteen Republican members voted in favor of the bill, while six progressive Democrats voted against the measure in protest to the agreement to postpone the vote on the Build Back Better bill. According to the agreement between moderate and progressive Democrats, the Build Back Better bill will be debated later in the month.
A group of moderates have committed to supporting the legislation if the upcoming Congressional Budget Office assessment conforms with the earlier cost and revenue analysis released by the White House.