Infrastructure plan: There’s a bipartisan deal. Here’s what we know about it
While many details of what it contains remain unclear, the total cost of the proposed deal announced Thursday is $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $579 billion in new spending, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.
Democrats say they are still planning to push some of the provisions left out of the infrastructure plan through separate legislation.
Here’s what we know about it so far:
Funding for roads and bridges
Money for transit, airports
The plan would provide $49 billion for public transit, $66 billion for rail, $25 billion for airports and $16 billion for ports and waterways.
Improving water and power systems
Another $55 billion would be invested in water infrastructure and $73 billion in the nation’s power structure.
Some of this money would be used to eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes.
Biden initially wanted to spend $100 billion to make sure every American has reliable, high-speed internet service. But said he was willing to lower his ask in earlier negotiations with Republicans.
Electric vehicle investment
It includes $7.5 billion to build a network of electric vehicle chargers along highways and in rural and disadvantaged communities. The goal is to build 500,000 chargers.
Another $7.5 billion would go toward making thousands of school and transit buses electric.
How Congress will pay for it
The full details on how the package would be paid for remain to be seen, but the bipartisan proposal focuses on using unspent funds from prior relief packages, as well as revenue from selling off strategic oil reserves.
Lawmakers believe that they could bring in more than $100 billion from unspent pandemic unemployment benefits funding and from pursuing fraudulent jobless payments. Whether these measures would provide that much money is questionable.
Estimates of the value of the unspent benefits vary. The Century Foundation has pegged it at more than $22.5 billion.
Unemployment fraud has also been a major issue since the pandemic began, with criminals targeting the more generous payments provided by Congress’ historic expansion of the nation’s unemployment system.
The bipartisan proposal also calls for repurposing $80 billion in Covid relief funds, mainly from the March and December rescue deals.
Biden’s original plan also called for ramping up enforcement against corporations to ensure they pay their fair share of taxes. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated increasing funding for enforcement would raise about $60 billion. Lawmakers negotiating the bipartisan deal estimated that it would yield more than $100 billion.
The deal appears to set aside Biden’s effort to pay for the plan by raising taxes on businesses. He had proposed hiking the corporate income tax rate to 28%, from 21%, and increasing the global minimum tax rate on US corporations to 21%, among other changes. Republicans, however, strongly opposed the idea.
The deal leaves out Biden’s proposal to spend $400 billion to bolster caregiving for aging and disabled Americans — the second largest measure in his original package.
His plan would have expanded access to long-term care services under Medicaid, eliminating the wait list for hundreds of thousands of people. It would have provided more opportunity for people to receive care at home through community-based services or from family members.
It would also have improved the wages of home health workers, who now make approximately $12 an hour, and would have put in place an infrastructure to give caregiving workers the opportunity to join a union.
Also left on the sideline: $100 billion for workforce development, which would have helped dislocated workers, assisted underserved groups and put students on career paths before they graduate high school.
CNN’s Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly and Kate Sullivan contributed reporting.