The House passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act late Friday, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF).
The bill, H.R. 3684, passed with a 228-206 vote. After passing the Senate in August, the bill is now headed to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law, which could happen within days, CNBC reports.
House Democrats had staved off the infrastructure vote unless the bill was voted alongside a separate social and environmental policy bill also known as the Build Back Better Act (BBB). The BBB, which was pared down from an earlier $3.5 trillion, would invest $1.75 trillion in paid leave, childcare, and education. On Friday, the House voted on a rule to allow for passage of the Build Back Better Act the week of November 15.
The Biden administration touts investments in a variety of infrastructure in BIF, including over $270 billion for highways; $110 billion to repair roads, bridges, and other transportation projects; and $89.9 billion for public transit.
There have been concerns about plans in the infrastructure bill to privatize existing infrastructure. This would involve the federal government selling off infrastructure to private financiers through public-private partnerships, which was opposed when the Trump administration proposed it.
As American Prospect notes:
private ownership does not necessarily translate into higher efficiency. Instead, privatization of municipal assets often leads to soaring costs and poor upkeep, as in Chicago, where mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel flogged off revenue-generating city property to private managers. Moreover, cost savings achieved by the private market are often at odds with other goals, like relying on union labor, or maintaining public control over public assets.
Some civil rights groups have supported the bill. The NAACP states BIF will “significantly enhance the quality of life for Black communities across the nation” since “Black Americans have borne the brunt of outdated roads and bridges; they have been disproportionately affected by toxic Superfund sites and lead pipes in their communities,” the organization said in a statement.
Other investments from BIF include:
- $66 billion for Amtrak funding
- $65 billion for clean energy
- $65 billion for high-speed internet investments
- $55 for clean water and to eliminate lead service lines
- $50 billion for climate change and cyberattack resiliency projects
- $45 billion for port infrastructure, waterways, and airport repairs and maintenance
- $21 to clean Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mines, and cap orphaned oil and gas wells.