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Jul 29

Federal Infrastructure Update

Posted on July 29, 2021 at 5:18 PM by Legislative Staff

Federal Infrastructure Update

The Senate announced they have reached an agreement on a 5-year, $1 trillion traditional infrastructure package. The act, titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes funding for roads, rails, bridges, ports, broadband, clean water, clean energy, cyber security, and electric vehicle infrastructure. It is expected that 2 million jobs will be created per year with passage of this legislation. 

Legislative text is not yet available but a coalition of business and labor groups endorsed the proposal and shared a summary of provisions

Debate has begun after the Senate voted to proceed with a vote of 67-32 on Wednesday and votes on the package are expected in the coming days. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not explicitly endorsed the package, she stated she was encouraged by the deal. 

On a parallel track, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Speaker Pelosi intend to introduce a $3.5 billion “human infrastructure” package that includes, among the highlights, child care, tax credits, and expansion of college tuition assistance. This will be introduced utilizing the budget reconciliation process and requires 50 votes in the Senate, though there not yet text or agreement among the 50 Senate Democrats. Speaker Pelosi indicated she will not move the traditional infrastructure package until the Senate passes the Human Infrastructure package. 

The legislation is financed through a combination of redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies, and other bipartisan measures, in addition to the revenue generated from higher economic growth as a result of the investments. 

The agreement includes $550 billion in new federal spending and among the highlights are:

  • $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, and reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years building on bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bills passed out of committee earlier this year. 
  • $11 billion in transportation safety programs, including a new Safe Streets for All program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in communities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit.
  • $66 billion in rail to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Included in this $66 billion is $22 million provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.
  • $7.5 billion to build out a national network of Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers.
  • $2.5 billion in zero emission buses, $2.5 billion in low emission buses, and $2.5 billion for ferries. The agreement will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide and replace the yellow school bus fleet. 
  • $1 billion of dedicated funding to creates a program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure.  The program will fund planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure.
  • $50 billion for infrastructure resiliency including the impacts of climate change and cyberattacks. The funds will be used to protect against droughts and floods, in addition to a major investment in weatherization.
  • $55 billion investment in clean drinking water, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines. It will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines. $65 billion investment ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet with an historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment.
  • $21 billion in environmental remediation to address legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods.
  • $73 billion investment in clean energy transmission that upgrades our infrastructure, including building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy.

This is an evolving situation that will require votes in both chambers, including amendments. We will continue to provide update as details change. 

As we have previously asked, it is critical that New Jersey municipalities highlight infrastructure needs and successes on social media and tag federal members.

Using the hashtags #RebuldWithUs and #LeadWithInfrastructure, please share pictures, graphics and descriptions of local infrastructure needs and success stories on your social media accounts. Examples of tweets can be viewed on the League’s Social Media Sample Page.

 Contact: Paul Penna, Legislative Analyst,, 609 695-3481, ext. 110.