Where Does Biden's Infrastructure Bill Stand?

After weeks of party infighting and debate, House Democrats late Friday night clinched a long-sought victory on President Biden’s domestic agenda, passage of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill named the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act

191522145 218121309902825 1718659893940001433 N (1)

Infrastructure. Never have we been so happy to have a buzz word trending in the news. Much of the news however has dealt with Congressional squabbling over what infrastructure legislation should look like and how to pay for it.

The Senate passed the measure to the House August 10th, but it took nearly two months for it to make it to Biden's desk after Democrats squabbled over a larger social package called Build Back Better. After passage pf the $1.2 trillion measure, Biden addressed reporters saying the bipartisan infrastructure bill was "a monumental step forward as a nation."

Here is the latest news from Washington: 

November 5th: House Passes Infrastructure Bill

After weeks of debate and party infighting from Democrats, the House finally passed the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill. The tally on the infrastructure bill was 228-206, with 13 Republicans crossing the aisle to support the measure, and six progressive Democrats bucking Biden and party leaders to register their opposition to a process that left the fate of the larger bill up in the air.

October 28th: Congress Passes Another Short-Term Extension of Highway Funding

October ended, just as it began, with the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) caught in the middle of a political battle having little to do with the bill’s substance.

A House vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was delayed again after negotiations among Democrats broke down on Biden's Build Back Better agenda. The House did, however, extend transportation funding until December 3. The funding was set to expire October 31 after a previous 30-day extension.

House leaders were unable to come to an agreement that would allow the vote for the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act to come to the House floor. This was the third time the bill had been punted, despite an appeal from President Joe Biden to pass the measure before he departed on an overseas trip. The delay was due to a voting block of dozens of progressive Democrats who continued to withhold their support for the infrastructure measure until a separate, much larger, social spending package is also teed up for a House vote. Congressional leaders left Washington for the weekend with much work left undone.

The new target date for passing IIJA is prior to December 3, when the latest surface transportation authorization extension expires.

September 30th: Highway Funding Expires

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend government funding for another two months on September 30th after failing to bring the IIJA vote to the house floor. The vote extended crucial funding for surface transportation projects until October 31st.

Lawmakers voted 254-175 to send the bill, which keeps the federal government funded through Dec. 3, to President Biden for his signature. Thirty-four Republicans voted with all Democrats in support of the bill.

August 25: House Agrees to Vote on Infrastructure Bill

The House voted 220 to 212 to consider the Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) no later than Sept. 27. The plan emerged last month as a compromise between moderate Democrats, who wanted an immediate vote on the IIJA, and progressive Democrats, who wanted the IIJA vote to take place after the Senate completed action on a separate, $3.5 trillion antipoverty and climate package. 

As the House returned to Washington this week, their agenda bogged them down. With neither party coming to agreements on several issues, Congress is charging toward a government shutdown and debt default and appears to have no backup plan roughly a week before federal agencies would have to close their doors.

August 10: Senate Passes Bill

After months of debate, lawmakers in the Senate have come to a final agreement on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The package, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is the culmination of drawn-out and painstaking negotiations between a bipartisan group of senators and the Biden administration and will allow both parties to claim a win after extensive work across the aisle. 

The legislation passed after the group worked through the weekend to come to agreement on some last minute issues. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell officially voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, joining at least a dozen other Republican senators.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blocked an amendment on Monday to limit a proposal to increase federal regulation of cryptocurrencies. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), brought the amendment up for unanimous consent, but after Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) tried to attach his untreated proposal to boost military spending by $50 billion,Screenshot20210810101035Senate TV Sanders blocked it. 

The group worked through 281 total amendments to the 2,702 page bill before it was taken up for a final vote.

"We have come to an agreement for final passage of the bipartisan infrastructure proposal," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "Let me say this - it has taken quite a long time, and there have been detours and everything else, but this will do a whole lot of good for America. The American people will see the most robust investment in our nation's infrastructure in decades."

Schumer said this investment was a "decades overdue step" to help bolster every sector of funding for our crumbling infrastructure. 


  • $303.5 billion over five years for Federal Highway programs, a 35% increase from previous bills
  • Overall package includes $40 billion in dedicated resources for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system
  • The bill features a $118 billion bailout of the Highway Trust Fund from the Treasury’s general fund
  • $55 billion for water projects with a focus on upgrading infrastructure - largest investment in clean drinking water in our nation's history
  • Project permitting overhauls to move projects forward more quickly. The environmental impact statements under NEPA takes an average of seven years. This bill provides numerous provisions including the One Federal Decision for highway projects which establishes a two year goal for project approval
  • $66 billion in passenger and freight rail
  • $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid
  • $65 billion to expand broadband Internet access
  • $39 billion to modernize and expand transit systems
  • $7.5 billion to build a national network of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

The legislation includes $550 billion in new spending, which Biden and Democrats had sought. The remainder of the package is funded by tapping unspent coronavirus relief funds already in law. 

August 8th:

President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal cleared its final serious Senate hurdle, putting the legislation on a glide path to passage as soon as late Monday, 8/9.

In a 68-29 vote, the Senate closed down debate on a bill negotiated by a bipartisan group of 10 senators that spends $550 billion in new money on the nation’s physical infrastructure. Sunday’s vote came after senators spent the weekend haggling over amendments and time agreements to consider them.

The rare bipartisan momentum is holding steady, a reflection of the bill's popularity and the eagerness of senators to show voters back home they can deliver. One of the biggest investments of its kind in years, the package promises to unleash billions of dollars to upgrade roads, bridges, broadband internet, water pipes and other public works systems undergirding the nation.

August 5th:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their assessment of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and projected that the senate’s bill would add $256 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade. The bill would increase discretionary spending by $415 billion over 10 years while increasing revenues by $50 billion and decreasing direct spending by $110 billion.

The analysis from Congress’s official scorekeeper shows that about half of the proposed $550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and broadband would be financed by adding to the nation’s debt. The findings could give pause to some Republicans who have agreed to support the legislation, but are so opposed raising taxes that they're protecting tax evaders, and abruptly became deficit conscious after adding $3.9 trillion to the national debt in the two years before the pandemic.

July 28th: 

After weeks of debate, the Senate has agreed to take up talks on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. The vote to advance the legislation was 67 to 32, with 17 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats voting in favor. Sixty votes were required to move the bill forward.

The wide-ranging infrastructure bill would provide about $550 billion in additional funds on top of existing spending, divided among major categories. The bipartisan infrastructure deal is slated to invest $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges and major projects.  Legislative text is still being written and should be released soon. 

The bill also is set to reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years building on bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bills passed out of committee earlier this year. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee-passed Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) of 2021, which calls for a five-year, $303.5 billion highway investment. 

The bill includes a total of $40 billion of new funding for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system according to the White House fact sheet.  The bill also includes a total of $17.5 billion for major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs but will deliver significant economic benefits to communities.

The Senate vote is the first step in a process that sets up a final vote on the package in the coming days. Once the Senate passes the measure, the package will go to the House for approval or to make changes and send back to the Senate. Senate Democrats continue to insist that the bipartisan infrastructure framework be considered and passed along with a $3.5 trillion social spending package before the August recess. While the bipartisan plan would require 60 votes to pass in the U.S. Senate, Senate Democrats will seek to pass the social spending package through the budget reconciliation process, which only requires 50 votes.

June 28th: 

The House of Representatives will vote the week of June 28 on H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, a five-year (FY 2022-2026), $547 billion surface transportation authorization bill approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 8. This legislation would:      

  • Allocate $343 billion for roads, bridges, and safety;     
  • Emphasize “fix-it-first” and add resiliency to the National Highway Performance Program, and require cost-benefit analysis for any capacity-enhancement projects;
  • Reauthorize the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment Pavement Technologies Program (AID-PT) at $12 million annually and add a new focus area: deploying pavement technologies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;   
  • Allow states to use contractual provisions that provide safety contingency funds to incorporate safety enhancements to work zones prior to or during roadway construction and maintenance activities; and

            June 24th

            A bipartisan group of senators who have been working on the infrastructure have reached a deal with President Biden who announced the $974 billion plan will be moving forward. 

            The President acknowledged the deal would not include proposals he's made for spending to help American families, but firmly endorsed the deal on infrastructure in unusual remarks just outside the White House with the Republican and Democratic senators looking on.

            June 16th

            The White House and congressional Democrats are preparing to go it alone on a massive infrastructure package, saying they'll know by next week whether Republicans will join them or whether they'll fly solo on a bill modernizing the nation's transportation systems and addressing the threat of climate change.

            Republicans from the start made it clear that they felt left out of the process and were disinclined to offer support on the INVEST in America Act. 

            “The reality is you all have your mind made up, and you’re probably going to push this partisan bill through and push it out of the committee and vote it off the floor and send it off to the Senate, where hopefully something better will happen,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-AR.

            Democrats are set to pursue a "two-track" strategy to enact Biden's American Jobs Plan that would pour tax dollars not only into highways, bridges and airports but also broadband, electric vehicle charging stations and new housing while also accelerating the nation's conversion from fossil fuels to clean energy.

            Democrats said they would negotiate with Republicans on a bill that focuses on traditional transportation. If a deal can't be reached, Democrats now say the will fold those programs into a larger climate bill using "budget reconciliation," a parliamentary strategy that bypasses the filibuster process and allows a simple majority to pass legislation.

            Where the bipartisan infrastructure package stands: The scaled-down agreement backed by a bipartisan group of 10 senators appears on life support days after it was announced, with progressives pressuring the White House to move on from bipartisan talks according to The Hill

            June 9th

            The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced, 38-26, a five-year, $547 billion surface transportation bill largely along party lines last week. The  Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act has been labeled “transformational” and, according to the committee’s press release on the proposed legislation, “offers a new approach to federal transportation policy," even though just two Republicans supported the bill. 

            Members had submitted a whopping 229 amendments to the sweeping legislation, which was threaded with provisions aimed at fighting climate change and supporting racial equity in the transportation system. Democrats hope the legislation will become a cornerstone of President Joe Biden's $2 trillion-plus infrastructure package. The foundational legislation would also fund and set the rules for the core federal programs that shape the transportation landscape after the expiration of the current surface transportation bill, the FAST Act, this September. 

            The INVEST in America Act, offers strategic investment — $548 billion over the next five years — directed to help:

            • rebuild our aging roads, rail lines, bridges and ports
            • expand access to sustainable passenger rail and public transit services
            • accelerate the shift to electric vehicles
            • reconnect disadvantaged neighborhoods fragmented by misguided highway construction in the past
            • reduce fossil fuel consumption in the transportation sector that accounts for nearly 35 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint.

            The INVEST Act is expected to be on the House floor in July. Meanwhile, the Senate’s bipartisan five-year, $303.5 billion surface transportation bill (Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021), which was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee last month, awaits further consideration. Talks continue between a bipartisan group of senators and the White House on a broader infrastructure package while congressional committees work on completing the surface transportation reauthorization process in anticipation of the FAST Act’s expiration on September 30.


            Here we are in June, past Biden's deadline to have some significant legislation crafted on an infrastructure bill. Biden and officials insist they are not going to let these negotiations go on for very long before they will forge ahead on a plan of their own. The president’s advisers anticipate drawing harder lines in public over what should be in the plan and how to pay for it. 

            Biden will sit down with Captio this week as a potential "last opportunity" to find a way to come together on a plan to rebuild the nation’s ailing infrastructure. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said over the weekend that the Biden administration needs to have ‘clear direction’ on infrastructure by June 7.

            May 27th: 

            In an attempt to salvage stalled negotiations, Senate Republicans unveiled a revised counteroffer for infrastructure spending, outlining roughly $928 billion in a package that’s still far short of what the White House has proposed. Only about a quarter of the total price tag appears to represent new spending above existing or expected levels under the “road map” put forward by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and her GOP counterparts. But the lawmakers still stressed that their retooled approach “delivers on much” of what President Biden had recommended in earlier talks between the two sides.

            The White House took a less rosy view, describing the GOP effort as “constructive” even as press secretary Jen Psaki pointed out that it still lacks enough funding for some of the president’s top priorities. But the new Republican counter-offer at least appeared sufficient enough to keep talks going into next week.

            May 26th:

            EPW Committee advances surface transportation bill with unanimous support. The STRA  2021 marks an increase of more than 34 percent from the last reauthorization to pass Congress, the FAST Act, in 2015. The prior authorization for surface transportation programs expired in 2020; Congress passed a one-year extension that will expire on September 30, 2021.

            May 25th:

              Biden Administration introduced a counter proposal which reduces spending by $600 billion compared to the original amount proposed in the American Jobs Plan. Shifts and/or reductions of funding hit some key areas:

                    • Roads, bridges and major infrastructure project funding cut to $120 billion compared to the original $159 billion in spending
                    • Move manufacturing, research and development, small business and supply chain improvements from this package over to a separate legislation that is being debated in Congress
                    • Reduce funding for broadband to $65 billion, which is the Republicans' originally proposed amount

                    May 23rd:

                    The Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee introduced the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 (STRA), which sets a new baseline funding level at a historic high of $303.5 billion for Department of Transportation programs for highways, roads and bridges.

                    The legislation would grow Federal highway investment by $11.2 billion to $58.3 billion in FY 2022 (23.8 percent increase) for core highways and would distribute 90 percent of these funds by formula to states over its five-year life.

                    May 19th:

                    House Republicans unveil STARTER Act 2.0, a third proposal for infrastructure funding, which lays out a five-year, $400 billion proposal for highways, bridges and transit. Despite its size, the proposal is the smallest of the three major infrastructure proposals floating in Congress.

                    May 11th:

                    I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge, which carries I-40 across the Mississippi River between Tennessee and Arkansas, was suddenly closed as engineers discovered a fractured support beam during a routine inspection. Over-the-road truckers are having to take alternate routes, taking an eight-minute drive to an average of 84 minutes at a daily cost to the trucking industry of $2.4 million per day, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. The bridge’s closure comes as the White House is negotiating with a group of Senate Republicans on an infrastructure package and while the cost of the bridge being shut down is high, the cost of failure would have been much worse. A problem facing much of America right now. 

                    April 22nd: 

                    U.S. Senate Republicans proposed their own infrastructure package that is about a quarter the size of Democratic President Joe Biden's sweeping $2.3 trillion proposal and focuses narrowly on broadband access and traditional infrastructure projects. Republicans proposed spending $299 billion on roads and bridges while Biden's plan only dedicated $115 billion. The GOP plan includes ongoing “baseline” spending of $260.5 billion for highways. The Biden plan is in addition to “baseline” spending levels. Thus the increased in funding for roads is bridges is $115 billion over 8 years under the Biden plan and $39 billion over 5 years under the GOP plan. 


                    Biden urged Congress to get to work on crafting a program, regardless of their opinions on the plan. Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss his $2.2 trillion infrastructure proposal and how to fund it. In the meeting, Biden vowed that the size and scope of his American Jobs Plan — as well as how to pay for it — is up for negotiation but urged them to make significant progress on an infrastructure bill by Memorial Day. 


                    Biden introduces the American Jobs Plan, a more than $2 trillion infrastructure package that was set to be unveiled in four part: transportation infrastructure, modern infrastructure like broadband, investing in the care economy to aid health workers and funding innovation and research and development infrastructure. Spending was introduced to be spread out over eight years and Biden said he would raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to fund it according to CNBC. The plan would put $621 billion into transportation infrastructure such as bridges, roads, public transit, ports, airports and electric vehicle development.


                    In February, President Joe Biden warned the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that China will “eat our lunch” if America doesn’t “step up” its infrastructure spending. Biden established the mutual understanding with these leaders that America needs to build new infrastructure across urban and rural areas and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process of supporting the country's economic recovery in the months and years ahead.


                    Biden introduced his "Build Back Better" plan which he said would make "historic investments" in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy. The plan called for $2 trillion in spending over four years, more than the $1.7 trillion the campaign previously proposed to spend over a decade. 

                    Today in American there are 10 million less jobs than there were just a year ago. There is political will on both sides of the aisle to get this done, to create jobs and invest in our country. The last six infrastructure bills have been bipartisan and Washington needs leadership on this issue to get this done. Americans also want to come together on something and infrastructure is that opportunity.

                    The goals of this plan should transcend party politics. Promises in Washington need to become projects throughout the country. 

                    *This article is continually updated to track progress on the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Stay tuned to ForConstructionPros.com for more updates on infrastructure funding.