On Monday, President Biden signed a historic $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill aimed at repairing the country’s roads and bridges along with investing billions in expanding broadband Internet access and strengthening the power grid.
“For far too long we have been talking about having the best economy in the world. We have talked about asserting American leadership in the world with the best and safest roads, railways, ports and airports, “Biden said at Monday’s signing ceremony. “But today we finally get it done. And my message to the American people is: America is moving again. And your life will change for the better.”
The legislation is the largest federal investment in infrastructure for over a decade, and the adoption of the bill marks a significant and two-pronged victory for the Biden administration’s domestic agenda. The package includes $ 65 billion to improve broadband access with the goal of achieving universal connectivity by the end of the decade. An additional $ 7.5 billion will go to building a network of electric car chargers across the country.
The infrastructure package also includes $ 50 billion to combat the effects of climate change and cyber attacks on national infrastructure and a further $ 73 billion to improve the electricity grid.
Earlier this year, Biden intended to push this infrastructure funding through along with a further trillion-dollar investment in social programs and climate change. The infrastructure package, which was signed into law on Monday, was cut out of the broader social spending package and was approved by the Senate in August by 69-30 votes. On November 5, Parliament voted to approve the bill with 13 Republicans in support of the measure.
The other half of Biden’s domestic agenda – nearly $ 2 trillion – is still awaiting votes in Parliament and the Senate. This additional spending measure includes $ 550 billion to combat climate change and $ 320 billion in expanded tax cuts over the next ten years to encourage the introduction of electric vehicles and clean energy.
In addition to this strengthening of social services, the second package includes several benefits for consumers who want to buy electric bikes. If approved, the law will offer Americans a refundable tax deduction worth 30 percent of a new e-bike worth up to $ 1,500.
The plan also creates a new $ 475 million grant program from the Department of Commerce to help low-income Americans acquire desktops, laptops, and tablets. Community groups will be able to apply for grants to provide free or reduced units to poor and previously imprisoned people.
Congress returned to Washington on Monday to continue deliberations on the broader social spending package and move forward with other critical issues, such as avoiding a potential government shutdown before December 3rd. It is unclear when Congress will vote on the Social Expenditure Act.