President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Monday, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF).
The bill, H.R. 3684, passed with a 228-206 vote on Friday, Nov 5. House Democrats initially planned to hold off on voting for the infrastructure bill until they could also vote on the Build Back Better Act (BBB). The House ruled to hold that vote this week.
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.
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enhance the quality of life for Black communities across the nation” since “Black Americans have borne the brunt of outdated roads and bridges; they have been disproportionately affected by toxic Superfund sites and lead pipes in their communities,” the organization said in a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.
There are, however, concerns that BIF enhances corporate giants. As American Prospect noted in relation to the planned broadband investments, “AT&T and Comcast can capture this pot of money, as they have in the past, without meaningful broadband adoption in unserved or underserved areas,” which is the point of the internet funding.
Further, plans to connect communities that had been torn apart by discriminatory highway construction saw a massive reduction in funding compared to initial proposals.
As NBC News reported, an advocacy group sought to reconnect neighborhoods in Rochester that split communities of color by a federal highway. New York senators proposed $20 billion in funding, but it was slashed to $1 billon in the final bill text.
As the outlet noted, “advocates were devastated to see that the program that aimed to heal longstanding racial wounds had been cut to a number that many felt amounted to little more than an acknowledgment of historic pain, deleting protections for residents.”
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.