Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Extraordinary amendment to the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate

news analysis

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed by the Senate on Tuesday after months of political wrangling and negotiations. From its introduction to its final approval, the bill underwent several minor changes, such as the removal of certain words, the addition of new policies or programs, or expansion of policies and programs already in the bill.

As the Senate worked to write and reform the bill, senators proposed amendments for a wide range of issues, some that went far beyond the original goal of maintaining the infrastructure. In such a comprehensive bill, entire sections are bound to be lost in a mountain of 1,000+ pages of text. Many of the amendments proposed or passed were only minor changes – improving appropriation for the Corps of Engineers, revising provisions regarding cyber security, designating additional high priority corridors on the national highway system – but few, whether passed. Whether it happened or not, stood outside.

Senn Schumer adds to limo safety standards

In the text of the bill, a clause mandates federal research into the crash of a limousine. This section was revised by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) to include the establishment of federal safety standards for limousines’ side impact protection, roof crush resistance, and airbag systems. The amendment was proposed on 4 August and was passed 58-39 the same day.

caste based business support

Another section of the bill reads: “Congress finds that … discrimination and related barriers are creating significant barriers to minority- and women-owned businesses seeking to do business in federally aided surface transportation markets across the United States.” are doing … [and that] Race- and gender-neutral efforts alone are insufficient to address the problem.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) sought to expand on the federal government’s response to these findings. In an amendment introduced on August 4, Cardin proposed a requirement that “the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency promotes and administers programs in the public and private sectors to aid the development of minority business enterprises.” “

Republicans did not press the issue and the amendment was easily passed by voice vote, adding additional race-based aid to the bill.

Sen Padilla raises funds for Indian health care

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to increase flexibility in the use of funds available to renovate, build and expand certain health care facilities on American Indian reservations. The final cut of the bill grants $3.5 billion to Indian healthcare facilities. This amount is partly due to the efforts of Padilla, for whom Indian affairs have been a pet project for some time. Earlier this year, Padilla along with Sen. James Lankford (R-Ok.), Rep. Reuben Gallego (D-Ariz.), and Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb) introduced a separate bill aimed at reforming health care. Did. For Indians living in urban areas.

“Indigenous communities face serious and unjust inequalities in access to many types of infrastructure, but inequalities in access to health care and health infrastructure are particularly stark,” Padilla said of the amendment. He wrote: “This amendment will not give more money to urban Indian organizations or take money from anyone else. This will give them additional flexibility to use the funds already received for improving the required infrastructure. The motion passed easily with 90-7 votes.

Even then, some have criticized The entire clause as an example of “outrageous” spending in the bill.

Sen. Scott repealed anti-inflation amendment

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced an amendment to the bill to prevent funds from being spilled toward programs if the Congressional Budget Office should determine that the disbursements would increase inflation. This amendment, if passed, would have effectively crippled the Treasury’s ability to meet the obligations outlined in the bill. The Senate nullified the amendment in a 42-55 vote.

Sen. Johnson repeals amendment to uphold Trump border wall contracts

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) proposed an amendment to prevent the federal government from voiding contracts signed by the Trump administration to build a border wall. In addition, it prohibited the federal government from using federal funds to pay penalties for the cancellation of these contracts. The amendment was shot down 48–49 in a party-line vote.

Proposal to cut federal funding for groups hiring illegal immigrants

A proposal by Sen. James Lankford (R-Ok.) would bar entities enrolled in the e-Verify program from receiving federal funding. E-Verification is an online tool used by employers to determine applicants’ eligibility to work in the United States. This amendment would have greatly inhibited the ability of various firms that contract with the government to hire illegal immigrants. Despite defection from some Democrats on the issue, the amendment was shot down 53–45, failing to meet the required 60 vote limit.

Crypto Agreement Amendment Shot Down

Part of the bill has caused a lot of concern online because of its potential to destroy the cryptocurrency market, sparking a trend on Twitter with the #DontKillCrypto tag.

In essence, the bill would redefine the meaning of a “broker” for digital assets (such as bitcoin, ethereum, etc.), thereby creating tax-reporting obligations for blockchain innovators who do not have access to that kind of information. Is.

On August 9, Sen. Pat Tommy (R-Pa.) introduced an amendment that would fix this impossible obligation by excluding certain groups, such as crypto miners, from the definition of a broker. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed her support for the amendment. However, this vote failed to meet the unanimous approval needed to amend the bill after opposition from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

As the bill goes before the House of Representatives, it tends to undergo more debate and amendment from Congressmen, who find the bill too large or too small.

Joseph Lord Epoch is a congressional reporter for the Times focusing on Democrats. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar on the Lyceum program.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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