Infrastructure Bill Passes House with EV Provisions
Late on Friday evening, November 5, 2021, the House passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Act (BIF) by a vote of 228-206 with 13 Republicans voting for the bill and 6 Democrats voting against it. The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package delivers $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, touching everything from bridges and roads to the nation’s broadband, water, and energy systems.
Below are some key highlights from the bill that are of interest to our member auctions.
- Electric vehicles: The bill would provide $7.5 billion for building a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers. Another $7.5 billion is slated for zero- and low-emission buses and ferries, aiming to deliver thousands of electric school buses to districts across the country, according to the White House.
- Funding for roads and bridges: The bill calls for investing $110 billion. Included is $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation. The White House says it would be the single, largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system, which started in the 1950s. The deal also contains $16 billion for major projects that would be too large or complex for traditional funding programs, according to the White House. Some 20%, or 173,000 miles, of the nation's highways and major roads are in poor condition, as are 45,000 bridges, according to the White House. The investments would focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, and equity and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Also in the package is $11 billion for transportation safety, including a program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities, especially of cyclists and pedestrians, according to the White House. It would direct funding for safety efforts involving highways, trucks, and pipeline and hazardous materials. And it contains $1 billion to reconnect communities -- mainly disproportionately Black neighborhoods -- that were divided by highways and other infrastructure, according to the White House. It will fund planning, design, demolition and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure.
- Money for rail and transit: The package would provide $39 billion to modernize public transit, according to the bill text. The funds would repair and upgrade existing infrastructure, make stations accessible to all users, bring transit service to new communities, and modernize rail and bus fleets, including replacing thousands of vehicles with zero-emission models, according to the White House. The deal would also invest $66 billion in passenger and freight rail, according to the bill text. The funds would eliminate Amtrak's maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor line, and bring rail service to areas outside the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, according to the White House. Included in the package is $12 billion in partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail. This would be the largest federal investment in public transit in history and in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago, according to the White House.
- Upgrades to the nation’s electric and water systems: The bill invests $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid. It would provide $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure, according to the bill text. It would replace lead service lines and pipes so that communities have access to clean drinking water, the White House said. Another $50 billion would go toward making the system more resilient -- protecting it from drought, floods and cyberattacks.
- Upgrading airports, ports, and waterways: The deal invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and promote electrification and other low-carbon technologies.
- Broadband upgrade: The bill would provide a $65 billion investment. It also aims to help lower the price households pay for internet service by requiring federal funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by creating price transparency and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren't providing adequate service. It would also create a permanent federal program to help more low-income households access the internet, according to the White House fact sheet.
- Environmental remediation: The bill would provide $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells, according to the White House.