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Tags: infrastructure | spending | roads | bridges | broadband | internet | housing

Wash Post: Only $650B of $2.25T Biden Infrastructure Bill for Roads, Bridges


Tuesday, 30 March 2021 07:37 PM EDT

President Joe Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure bill, set to be unveiled Wednesday, will have allocations for much more than, well, for infrastructure projects, according to details of the plan cited in The Washington Post on Tuesday.

The plan -- according to sources familiar with the details who spoke to the Post -- provides only $650 billion for roads, bridges, highways, and ports.

Also in the plan, the sources said: $400 billion for home care for the elderly and the disabled, $300 billion for housing, $300 billion to revive U.S. manufacturing, and $400 billion in clean-energy credits.

Hundreds of billions of dollars have been set aside to boost America's electric grid and nationwide high-speed broadband, and to work on water systems to make sure people have clean drinking water, the sources said.

The details could change before the announcement; final negotiations were still taking place, the sources told the Post.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said tax increases — mostly on corporations — would fund the initiatives. Most of former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax law would be undone by the tax hikes, according to the Post's sources.

The move, to be announced in Pittsburgh, is the first of Biden's "Build Back Better" initiative, and will be followed by a second plan in the coming weeks, Psaki said.

The second legislative plan will expand health insurance coverage, the child tax benefit, paid family, and medical leave.

The cumulative price tag on both initiatives could exceed $4 trillion.

Democrats might not have the same ease in passing Biden's latest initiatives as they did his pandemic relief bill, which was able to garner full party support in an evenly divided Senate. In cases of a 50-50 Senate split, Vice President Kamala Harris is able to cast the tie-breaking vote.

Moderate Democrats want leaders to work with Republicans to secure their votes, but more liberal members and some economists are pressing to use their majorities in both chambers and the White House to confront issues important to them, such as climate change.

"I'm getting a little confused about how we're going to get anything done," Jim Manley, who was an aide to former Senate majority leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., told the Post. "It's only going to get more difficult from here on out. There's not only more divisions over where to go, but there's a certain sense of spending fatigue setting in on Capitol Hill."

Republicans are already panning the package as too big and too costly for them to support.

"It seems like President Biden has an insatiable appetite to spend more money and raise people's taxes," Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the GOP whip, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Scalise predicted that if approved, the new spending and taxes will "start having a negative impact on the economy, which we're very concerned about."

Sweeping in scope, the plan aims to make generational investments in infrastructure, revive domestic manufacturing, combat climate change, and keep the United States competitive with China, according to administration officials.

Though the White House is emphasizing the urgency, it also insists this will not be considered an emergency response like the $1.9 trillion virus relief bill Biden signed into law over Republican objections in mid-March. The administration wants to see progress on the new legislation by Memorial Day and have it passed over the summer, White House officials said.

While hoping for collaboration, Democrat congressional leaders are also preparing a go-it-alone strategy, as they did with the virus aid package, in case Congress hits a wall of GOP opposition.

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President Joe Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure bill set to be unveiled Wednesday will have a lot more than traditional infrastructure projects, according to details of the plan cited in The Washington Post on Tuesday.
infrastructure, spending, roads, bridges, broadband, internet, housing, healthcare
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 07:37 PM
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