After months of wrangling and deal-cutting in Congress, President Biden has finally gotten to put his signature on one of his loftiest agenda items -- a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.
In the administration’s view, the law delivers on a long-overdue promise. It includes everything from rebuilding the country’s infrastructure to creating better jobs for millions of Americans. Below are some of the items that are included in the legislation.
What Americans can expect from the new law
A revamped infrastructure: When it comes to infrastructure, Biden says “things are going to turn around in a big way.” He said 2022 will be the first year in two decades that the U.S. infrastructure investment will grow faster than China’s.
“We’ll once again have the best roads, bridges, ports, and airports over the next decade. And we’ll lead the world into the 21st century with modern cars and trucks and transit systems,” the President stated.
The biggest overhaul in that laundry list will be roads and bridges. Biden said the rebuilding of those two items will be the most significant investment the U.S. has made in the past 70 years. Right behind that is the most significant investment in passenger rail the country has put forth in the last 50 years, as well as the most aggressive effort ever put in public transit.
Jobs: With the investment in infrastructure also comes the need for workers to make that happen -- plumbers to replace all the lead pipes in the country, people to install broadband lines, workers to install electric vehicle charging stations. Biden says it will take tens of thousands of workers to export clean energy technologies to the rest of the world.
“This law delivers on that long-overdue promise, in my view. It creates better jobs for millions of Americans. And no one — no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a single penny in federal taxes because of it.”
Broadband: The new law intends to make high-speed internet affordable and available everywhere while boosting competition and creating more price transparency. That’s likely to be a hit with many consumers who are unhappy with their internet and a nation of parents who wrestled with getting their children set up for remote learning during the pandemic.
“Folks, as we saw with remote learning, remote working during the pandemic, access to high-speed Internet is essential… No parent should have to sit in a parking lot at a fast-food restaurant again just so their child can use the internet to do their homework. That’s over,” Biden said at his press conference announcing the passage of the law.
Electric vehicles: From the moment Biden entered the White House, he’s been championing electric vehicles -- everything from changing out the federal government’s fleet to all-electric vehicles to offering top-dollar incentives to consumers who buy one. Now, he has a real chance to advance all those hopes and says Americans can expect a “true” countrywide network of more than a half-million charging stations for electric vehicles.
“It is also going to make it possible for Americans to get off the sidelines and into the game of manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, batteries to store energy and power for electric vehicles, including electric school buses, which will mean millions of children will no longer inhale the dangerous diesel fumes that come out of the buses,” Biden stated.