President Joe Biden announced he found middleground with a group of Senators to strike a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal, which could become law pending a White House requirement that it be delivered to the President simultaneously with funding for additional Democratic priorities.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is the largest long-term infrastructure investment in the U.S. in nearly a century. And the deal comes after retail industry groups opposed how Biden’s original plan would be financed--through higher taxes.
The new framework includes key investments in:
Clean transportation infrastructure
Clean water infrastructure
Universal broadband infrastructure
Clean power infrastructure
Remediation of legacy pollution
Resilience to the changing climate
In announcing the new framework, Biden asked Congress to pass a bill and send the plan to his desk to sign into law. According to the White House, the new infrastructure investments will be financed through a combination of taxes, redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, and the macroeconomic impact of infrastructure investment.
The retail industry has promoted user fees as the main way to pay for the infrastructure upgrades, which are desperately needed. The retail industry is one of the most impacted industries by infrastructure quality. From shipping imports and exports to stocking goods and supplies and ultimately getting them into the hands of consumers, retail relies on quality infrastructure of all varieties. On the consumer side, poor infrastructure actually results in less spending power, as well, studies have shown.
The new framework is far below the original $4 trillion outline that Biden originally proposed. That proposal also included investments in child care, internet infrastructure and more. While infrastructure is often a bipartisan topic, Republicans did not agree that services like child care and aid for in-home care workers qualified as infrastructure. After agreeing on the framework, Biden stated he wanted a second piece of legislation to provide funding for these additional elements. Democrats will have to both placate Republicans for the basic infrastructure bill and also rally support for a second bill in the 50-50 Senate and Democrat-controlled House, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“We need physical infrastructure, but we also need the human infrastructure as well,” Biden said June 24. “They’re a part of my overall plan. What we agreed on today is what we could agree on: the physical infrastructure. There was no agreement on the rest. We’re going to have to do that through the budget process.”