Lawmakers in Washington are scheduled to vote on Thursday, September 30th, on the substantial $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that would modernize America’s roads, bridges, public transport, broadband, and clean energy.
The dramatic vote would send Biden’s core administration policy to his desk for a final signature if it passes the US House. The legislation was approved by the 100-member Senate back in August with an overwhelming bipartisan vote – 69-30, after months of negotiations.
Right now the vote is not expected to be easy, even though Democrats control the chamber and a handful of House Republicans are expected to vote in favor of the bill. The reason for that is there is a division between progressive and moderate Democrats.
Progressives insist on moving forward with another bill that offers $3.5 trillion for social spending and climate change policies while moderates put the $1.2 trillion bill as a priority.
Biden’s infrastructure bill proposes $550 billion in direct federal spending over the next five years. They will go for modernizing roads, bridges, and transit systems, expanding high-speed internet systems, and the nation’s network of electric vehicle charging stations.
The bill is different from the $3.5 trillion 10-year spending bill – a major milestone for Democrats, that aims to expand education, health care, childcare support, tackle the climate crisis and make further investments in infrastructure. It is also the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.
For the state of Louisiana alone, the $1.2 trillion bill would send 6$ billion for roads and bridges during the first five years of its rollout. It is also dedicated to expanding clean energy for the state with an $8 billion that would go for hydrogen hubs to promote the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of hydrogen.
According to Louisiana Republican US Senator Bill Cassidy, the hydrogen investment is “tailor made for Louisiana’s industry, existing infrastructure and energy sector.”
Another $5.1 billion investment is set aside for carbon capture, utilization and storage technology, including the development of CO2 pipelines and storage. The carbon capture investment would be helping Louisiana to move ahead of states like Texas in establishing the industry.
The infrastructure bill 2021 is approaching its final destination – the US House that would decide whether it would go on Joe Biden’s desk or in his rubbish bin of discarded legislation. It is a delicate point in time as Democrats seem divided. However, the bill still remains the largest infrastructure legislation in US history.