Infrastructure bill breakdown: 4 things contractors need to know

By Jenny LescohierAugust 02, 2021

The Senate is expected to advance a $1-trillion infrastructure bill this week

The world’s eyes are on U.S. lawmakers who are working around the clock to hammer out legislation that promises to pump new money into the nation’s infrastructure, and few industries have more to gain from that effort than construction.

The measures up for discussion are complicated, however, here are the basics:

  1. The Senate is expected to advance a $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill this week. The measure would fund roads, bridges, dams, bridges and other physical projects, as well as the expansion of broadband and climate resiliency initiatives. The 2,702-page bill is a product of negotiations between the White House and a group of bipartisan senators.
  2. The $1.2-trillion legislation that negotiators filed in an unusual Sunday evening session would provide $550 billion in new federal funds to shore up the nation’s aging public works system, on top of the expected continuation of existing federal infrastructure programs. Reports said the new money will come from a variety of sources including the repurposing of pandemic relief funds as well as increased tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies. 
  3. Democratic leaders remain adamant that the Senate will vote on both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a $3.5-trillion budget blueprint before leaving Washington for a scheduled August recess. The expansive budget measure will address things like climate change, health care and education. It is expected to pass with just Democratic votes through a process called reconciliation, although it’s unclear if the legislation will garner even enough votes from Democrats to pass in its current form.
  4. The Senate cannot take up the budget blueprint until the chamber is finished working on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. That process is likely to continue throughout this week.
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