$1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Voted Through House

Senate will not consider infrastructure bill.

House Democrats passed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan in early July, mostly along party lines.

The measure though, will not be considered in the Senate, leaving the country without a comprehensive plan to update major roads, highways, bridges and utilities, as well as work to promote energy initiatives, broadband internet expansion and transportation improvements.

The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department strongly backed House Resolution 2, which would create thousands of Prevailing Wage jobs for building trades members.

North America’s Building Trades President Sean McGarvey thanked lawmakers for backing the measure.

“NABTU applauds Speaker Pelosi for moving forward this long-awaited, and desperately needed infrastructure agenda. We commend the commitment to local Prevailing Wage rates and those who demonstrated that infrastructure is not a partisan issue or political issue, but an American issue with broad support, and a policy we should advance to strengthen us globally,” McGarvey said in a prepared statement.

The act includes:

  • $25 billion to protect access to clean drinking water and to create a state revolving fund to remove dangerous contaminants from drinking water
  • $100 billion to expand broadband services in low-income and rural communities
  • $70 billion for clean energy projects
  • $100 billion for improvements at schools, which serve predominantly low-income students
  • $30 billion to upgrade hospitals
  • $100 billion in funding to create or preserve 1.8 million public houses
  • $25 billion to modernize the U.S. Postal Service’s infrastructure and operations, including purchasing a fleet of electrical vehicles.

The remainder of the funds reauthorizes surface transportation programs like roads and bridges, but it de-emphasizes building new roads. Instead, the bill diverts money for new roads and reallocates it into Democratic priorities such as trains, transit and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

In commending the House bill, McGarvey did not mention the resolution’s “green” provisions, which could cost building trades members jobs in the future.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.) called H.R. 2, known as The Moving Forward Act, the biggest legislative effort to fight climate change.

Included within the act is language from a $494 billion Democrat-led bill from the House Transportation Committee, which requires states to account for climate change before undertaking projects and requires states to meet certain greenhouse gas emission goals when they receive funding.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the bill “nonsense, absurd, (and) pure fantasy” and vowed it will die in the Senate.

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