By AFP Staff
What’s in the new 2,700-page infrastructure bill that was passed by the Senate earlier on Aug. 10? Short answer: No one really knows. And how could they? Did you miss the part where the bill is 2,700 pages long?
Press releases issued by the Democrats in the Senate claim that $1 trillion bill appropriates “$550 billion in new spending over five years in addition to current federal authorizations for public works that will reach virtually every corner of the country….”
An Associated Press report on the measure read like a propaganda puff piece released by the Democrats.
“There’s money to rebuild roads and bridges, and also to shore up coastlines against climate change, protect public utility systems from cyberattacks and modernize the electric grid,” wrote AP. “Public transit gets a boost, as do airports and freight rail. Most lead drinking water pipes in America could be replaced.”
If that is accurate, then the Senate should be commended for spending money on much-needed upgrades to the United States’ failing roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure.
But what about the remaining nearly half trillion dollars? No one really knows for sure, as no one has had the time necessary to really real the bill before voting on it.
Even the famed Brookings Institute’s report on the bill was light on details. Brookings noted that the bill spends:
• $65 billion in new broadband spending;
• $73 billion in new energy funding, primarily to ensure interstate transmission can support clean energy;
• $50 billion to “make our communities more resilient, plus a Healthy Street program to promote environmental justice”;
• $55 billion to clean drinking water, including lead pipe replacement;
• $40 billion to upgrade bridges
• $16 billion to “help with extra complex projects”; and
• $66 billion to invest in passenger rail.
And how is Congress going to pay for it all?
AP reported that Congress was planning on “repurposing other money, including some COVID-19 aid.”
In other words, they had no plans to pay for it other than rob other programs and, of course, borrow more money from the bankers and from foreign countries.