WASHINGTON – US senators have introduced a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure spending package to fix the nation’s deteriorating roads and bridges and expand broadband service across the country.
It came in a rare Sunday session, and lawmakers will now have the opportunity to offer amendments to the 2,700-page bill.
The proposal has emerged from weeks of White House talks with Democratic and Republican senators. This includes $550 million in new spending as well as $450 billion in funding already approved.
The package includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transport and $66 billion for rail. Fifty-five billion dollars have been allocated for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure as well as airports, seaports, broadband Internet and electric vehicle charging stations.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Given how bipartisan the bill is, and how much work has already been done to get the details right, I believe the Senate will move the relevant amendments quickly.” and pass this bill in a few days.” Senate Floor Sunday.
Republican Senator Rob Portman, one of the package’s negotiators, said it would be “very good for the American people.”
“This is a really important bill because it takes our big, old and outdated infrastructure in this country and modernizes it. It’s good for everyone,” Portman said.
The bill is a rarity in Washington – a potentially bipartisan deal in a fractious political climate where Republicans and Democrats remain divided over many other issues.
The measure has already approved preliminary procedural votes with unified Democratic support and more than 15 Republicans in favor of an evenly divided 100-member Senate.
If the Senate gives its approval, the measure will go to the House of Representatives, where some progressive lawmakers have complained that the infrastructure package is not big enough.
The package is one of President Joe Biden’s biggest legislative priorities. It represents an effort six months into his presidency to prove to voters that the White House and Congress can reach a bipartisan agreement on some issues.
Brian Deese, director of Biden’s National Economic Council, told the “Fox News Sunday” show, that the new infrastructure spending is a “badly needed investment in our country.”
The White House is predicting that spending could add two million new jobs annually, mostly in the construction sector, for the next decade.