U.S. lawmakers approve $ 1 billion infrastructure bill


The US Congress passed a landmark $ 1 trillion (€ 865 billion) infrastructure package, following the earlier Senate deal. President Biden just has to sign it, freeing up $ 15 billion in funding for electric transportation, after having to make concessions.

Specifically, the trillion dollar package includes $ 7.5 billion for expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure nationwide and $ 7.5 billion for electric buses. However, Biden had to make concessions. For example, for the national network with 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles, the compromise has been reached and leaves $ 7.5 billion of the $ 15 billion initially envisaged by Biden.

In the briefing following Friday’s vote, the White House now clarified: “The legislation will provide funding for the deployment of electric vehicle chargers along road corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities for providing convenient charging where people live, work and shop. . This investment will support the president’s goal of building a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers to accelerate EV adoption. Note, however, that the half a million chargers is now a target and not a set target.

For the purchase of electric buses for schools and public transport, the bipartisan project is now also providing $ 7.5 billion, instead of the $ 45 billion previously desired.

The new deal also includes $ 66 billion for rail operator Amtrak to fund a backlog of repairs and expand rail routes across the United States.

Biden called the passage of the bill a “monumental step forward as a nation.”

“We did something long overdue, long talked about in Washington but never done,” he said.

With this Friday’s vote, it will now be sent to Biden, who will sign it as law but not this weekend.

228-206 vote is victory for Biden amid differences between progressive Democrats and moderates who clashed for the president’s $ 1.85 trillion Rebuild better budget bill to expand social security programs and enact more robust climate programs. Progressives feared moderate Democrats would back the social and climate bill before voting on the infrastructure bill. The deal the Democrats struck that allowed the infrastructure bill to pass on Friday promised the larger bill would get a vote later this month.

The infrastructure package still included the votes of 13 Republicans, while six Democrats voted against, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The group dubbed The Squad is one of the most left-wing and progressive members of the House and has discovered that major liberal policies have been abandoned in exchange for the bipartisan victory.

A victory nevertheless which had passed the bill on infrastructure to the Senate in August.

The fight for is not over, however. In the “Build Back Better” plan mentioned above, the Biden administration promises to increase the federal tax credit for electric vehicles to $ 12,500, but only those assembled by unionized workers in the United States. Currently, the maximum is $ 7,500.

The House will now move forward with the said social and environmental spending bill favored by liberal lawmakers on the back of the infrastructure package.

usatoday.com, bbc.co.ukwhitehouse.gov

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