“The president is on the cusp of a major expansion in public education, one of the largest expansions in the social safety net, the largest investment in climate change mitigation,” and reforms to labor law and drug pricing, said Patrick Gaspard. a former Obama administration official who is now the president of the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington.
Understand the infrastructure bill
- A trillion dollar pack has passed. The Senate approved a sweeping bipartisan infrastructure package on Aug. 10, ending weeks of intense negotiations and debates about the largest federal investment in the country’s aging public works system in more than a decade.
- The final vote. The final score in the Senate was 69 for and 30 against. The legislation, yet to pass the House, would affect nearly every facet of the US economy and bolster the country’s response to global warming.
- Main spending areas. In general, the two-pronged plan focuses on spending on transportation, utilities and cleaning up pollution.
- transport. About $110 billion would go into roads, bridges and other transportation projects; $25 billion for airports; and $66 billion for railroads, giving Amtrak the most funding it has received since its founding in 1971.
- Utilities. Senators have also taken $65 billion to connect hard-to-reach rural communities with high-speed internet and help enroll low-income urbanites who can’t afford it, and $8 billion for Western water infrastructure.
- Cleaning up pollution: About $21 billion would go toward clearing abandoned wells and mines, and Superfund sites.
“Each of these things is important in its individual component parts,” he said, “but taken as a whole, I think it speaks to the remarkable opportunity we have — this once-in-a-generation opportunity to set a course that creates growth for all.” , including and especially those who have been most vulnerable in this economy.”
If the effort succeeds, Mr. Biden will have accomplished much of what he campaigned in one fell swoop. Observers say he will carry a reinforced hand to global summits in October and November that are intended to push the world to transition away from fossil fuels that warm the planet and end the use of offshore havens that companies already have. long use to avoid tax.
White House officials say the breadth of the programs in the package provide a unified vision for the United States’ domestic economy and its place in the world, and that the shelves serve as a kind of coalition glue — an approach for anyone making it’s difficult to jettison parts of the plan during negotiations, even if they turn out to be controversial.
But the sheer volume of content has divided Democrats on multiple fronts, as Biden cannot afford to lose even one vote in the Senate and no more than three votes in the House.
Centrists and progressives have clashed over the magnitude of the spending in the legislation and the scale and details of the tax hikes Mr Biden plans to use to cover the costs. They are divided on the pricing of prescription drugs, the generosity of tax credits for the poor, the aggressiveness of key measures to accelerate the transition to a low-emission energy sector and much more.
Even items that are not a top priority for Mr. Biden have opened chasms. On Friday, one of the party’s most outspoken progressives, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, addressed a critical priority of several top Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer, saying she would resist attempts to completely repeal a cap on state and local property tax deductions, which would help the high earners in high-tax areas.