Week Ending June 11, 2021

House Advances Surface Transportation and Water Bills

  • Congress Continues Infrastructure Work as Bipartisan Negotiations Break Down
  • FY 2022 and President’s Budget Update

Congress Continues Infrastructure Work as Bipartisan Negotiations Break Down

The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T and I) Committee passed the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) to authorize $547 billion (including $343 billion for roads, bridges and safety and $109 billion for transit) for surface transportation programs over the next five years. Only two Republicans on the committee – Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Jenniffer González-Colón (Puerto Rico) – voted yes. The committee also approved the bipartisan Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act (H.R. 1915) to invest $50 billion in wastewater infrastructure over the next five years.

This action follows the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s unanimous passage of similar legislation (S. 1931) on May 26. Both bills now go to the floors of their respective chambers for full votes. In addition, House Ways and Means, and Senate Commerce, Science, Transportation, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Finance committees have bills pending. These separate pieces must come together before surface transportation programs expire on Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, negotiations between President Joe Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) broke down this week. A bipartisan group of moderate senators is the latest cabal trying to negotiate the president down from the $4 trillion American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, though specifics of their plan is unclear.

FY 2022 and President’s Budget Update

The president’s full budget was released May 28, proposing transformational increases in public services. AFSCME President Lee Saunders praised the budget, noting it “outlines a bold and sweeping plan to strengthen our communities and put working people first. It turns the page on years of austerity that have gutted public services, deepened inequality and hurt working families.”

The budget would create jobs and improve our economy, invest in infrastructure, tackle the climate crisis, support caregivers and strengthen families, improve our public education system, ensure more broadly shared prosperity and make a fairer tax code. Details are outlined in the House Budget Committee’s report.

As the House and Senate prepare a budget resolution, the Appropriations committees are already preparing funding bills which the House could begin to vote on in committee in the coming weeks.

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