Katelynn Singleton, news editor
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act late on Nov. 5. U.S. President Joseph Biden signed the bill on Nov. 15, with the money directed towards roads, bridges, public transport and other forms of traditional infrastructure.
The Infrastructure Bill passed in the House by a 228-to-206 vote, with 13 Republicans and all but six Democrats voting in favor of the bill. A statement from the White House said that combining this bill with Biden’s Build Back Framework will add, on average, 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years.
Major infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges will receive $110 billion. Around 173,000 miles of highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor conditions across the U.S., according to CNN. The bill will help to mend the damages, as well as construct new roads or bridges where needed. According to a report by the White House, there are 372 bridges and 2,260 miles of highway that need repair in Ga. This bill would help to fix them, especially as the number of Georgians who commute continues to rise.
Public transit is set to receive $39 billion, and railways will receive $66 billion. The funds aim to upgrade existing infrastructure, as well as make stations available to all users, and bring public transportation to new communities. Amtrak, a passenger railroad company, will be able to modernize their lines as well as bring their service to new areas. According to the White House, this will be the largest federal investment in public transit and in passenger rail since Amtrak’s founding 50 years ago.
The legislation also aims to replace buses and other forms of transit with electric versions, in an effort to reduce emissions. The Biden administration hopes to be able to accelerate the adoption of non-fossil fuel vehicles, with $15 billion total being allocated to improving current electric vehicles and bus technology.
The bill designates $55 billion to upgrading the water infrastructure across the country. According to a press release from the White House, as many as 10 million American households do not have access to clean drinking water. The investment from the bill will replace lead pipes and remove dangerous chemicals from drinking water in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities.
Broadband infrastructure will also be improved, with $65 billion being invested into improving it. It aims to lower the household price of internet service by offering a low-cost plan. A White House briefing said that the bill will help close the digital divide, so that the approximately 30 million Americans that live without high-speed internet can receive it.
The Infrastructure Bill will work with Biden’s Build Back Better Act (BBBA). BBBA will direct $1.75 trillion to social infrastructure such as childcare and universal preschool, paid family and medical leave, housing and climate change. BBBA has been passed by the House and is currently being sent to the Senate. The Senate hopes to approve the bill before Christmas, however it’s likely that there will be numerous changes to various aspects of the bill. Should the Senate make changes to the bill, it will be sent back to the House to be approved again.