On November 15th, President Joe Biden signed into law a $1 trillion infrastructure bill at a White House ceremony that drew Democrats and Republicans who pushed the legislation through a deeply divided U.S. Congress.
The measure is designed to create jobs across the country by dispersing billions of dollars to state and local governments to fix crumbling bridges and roads and by expanding broadband internet access to millions of Americans.
In terms of new spending, the law authorizes:
*$65 billion to update power lines, prevent hacking of the power grid, and provide clean energy
*$7.5 billion for a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations
*$7.5 billion for electric school buses
*$110 billion for construction, repair, and research for roads and bridges
*$66 billion to upgrade and maintain passenger and freight rail systems
*$65 billion to expand broadband in rural areas and in low-income communities
*$55 billion for lead pipe replacement, chemical cleanup, and clean drinking water
*$50+ billion to protect infrastructure from cybersecurity attacks
*$39 billion to upgrade public transit
*$25 billion for upgrades and expansions of U.S. airports, control towers, and control systems
*$17 billion for port infrastructure
*$11 billion to address highway, pedestrian, pipeline, and other safety areas
Materials made in the United States will be given priority in infrastructure projects
The bill-signing ceremony, held in chilly weather on the White House South Lawn to accommodate a big crowd, was an increasingly rare moment when members of both parties were willing to stand together and celebrate a bipartisan achievement. Biden said the bill's passage showed that "despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results." He called the bill a "blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America." "Too often in Washington, the reason we don’t get things done is because we insist on getting everything we want. With this law, we focused on getting things done," Biden said.
"Delivering this legislation for the American people – this is what it looks like when elected leaders set aside differences, shut out the noise and focus on delivering results on the issues that matter most to everyday Americans," Senator Krysten Sinema said.
Biden signed an executive order before the ceremony directing that materials made in the United States be given priority in infrastructure projects, the White House said.
How long the bipartisan spirit will last is unclear as both sides expect a big battle over the social safety net plan.
*Credit - Reuters, Investopedia, mts