In a bipartisan vote of 69-30, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will add $550 billion in new federal infrastructure spending over the next five years. All 50 Democrats in the Senate and 19 Republicans voted in favor of this bill. With the total package adding up to $1.3 trillion, some of the provisions include:
- $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects
- $65 billion for broadband internet expansion
- $39 billion for public transit
The IBEW has been putting pressure on Senators and House Representatives in every state to pass this much needed funding with labor standards attached. Upon the bill’s passage in the Senate on August 10, IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said, “IBEW members are encouraged to finally see bipartisan success in addressing the generational neglect of our country’s aging infrastructure...We’re particularly pleased to see the investments in modernizing the electrical grid, transit, and rail, in addition to the beginnings of building out the charging infrastructure necessary for wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles buses, trains, and trucks.”
The Senate also passed a $3.5-trillion budget resolution, but only on partisan lines in a 50-49 vote. Still being debated in the Senate, this bill includes federal spending on education, health care, and climate-related initiatives. The House of Representatives is expected to consider both trillion-dollar spending packages in September, and the Biden Administration and Democratic leadership aims to pass them both by the end of this year.
Go to IBEWAction.org for more resources from the IBEW and instructions on how to contact your representatives in Congress.