Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance the $1 trillion “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” and locked in a final vote on the bill – which has already cleared the Senate – for no later than September 27. This is a significant step to enacting the measure as a stand-alone bill, that is not tied to the proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that some members of Congress were insisting be passed concurrently.
U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark released a statement vowing to defeat reconciliation, while applauding the voting deadline for the bipartisan infrastructure deal. A comprehensive overview of the legislation is available here. The budget bill also passed the House by a vote of 220-212, setting up a reconciliation process whereby the Senate will be able to bypass the filibuster rule.
The infrastructure measure would lead to significant infrastructure investments in Pennsylvania – including $11.3 billion for roads and highway projects, $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repair, $100 million for broadband connectivity in underserved areas, $1.5 billion for drinking water projects, and $171 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition, permit streamlining reforms are included in the bill to help cut through some of the costly, onerous red tape that delays project completion in communities statewide.
The PA Chamber believes that providing for safe, modern infrastructure network is a core function of government and also supports public/private partnerships to help to make key infrastructure projects a reality.
The bill is slated to receive a vote in the U.S. House at the end of September. Should it pass, it would further the PA Chamber’s “Bringing PA Back” economic policy agenda – as infrastructure is one of the core pillars of our initiative that will help set our economy up to compete globally in the 21st century.