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Virginia Democrat Senator has ‘concerns’ about Biden $2.3tn infrastructure package


Electric vehicles: $174 billion to boost the markets for electric vehicles. Rebates and tax incentives to buy American-made EVs. 

Included in the plan provided by the White House are grants for governments and private groups to build 500,000 electric vehicle chargers and replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles. 

School buses: Replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify at least 20 percent of yellow school bus fleet. The package touts an Energy Department program called Clean Buses for Kids. It would ‘set us on a path to 100 percent clean buses,’ according to the White House.

Public Transit: Biden calls on Congress to invest $165 billion in public transit. This includes modernizing existing transit and expanding those systems. It would double federal funding for an area that is a top part of state and local budgets. According to the White House it would ‘bring bus, bus rapid transit, and rail service to communities and neighborhoods across the country’ without specifying which ones, and claims it would ‘ultimately reduce traffic congestion for everyone.’ 

Lead pipes: After a campaign where the Flint drinking water fiasco became a top issue for Democrats, the proposal includes $45 billion for a plan to eliminate all lead pipes used in water distribution. The funds would be administered through EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act grants to localities.

‘Made in America’: ‘Made in America’ provisions on manufacturing and shipping. According to the White House, it will ‘require that goods and materials are made in America and shipped on U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed vessels.’ Similar ‘made in America’ provisions are common on legislation. The White says its plan ‘will ensure that Americans who have endured systemic discrimination and exclusion for generations finally have a fair shot at obtaining good paying jobs and being part of a union.’

Bridge and highway modernization: $115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets in ‘critical need’. The White House cites statistics saying 173,000 total miles of highways are in poor condition, along with 45,000 bridges. The plan also calls for funds to repair 10,000 ‘smaller bridges’ that provide ‘critical connections to rural and tribal communities’.

Protect cyclists and pedestrians: Bikes, too, would get a share of the billions. The package includes $20 billion for safety – including funds to ‘reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians’.

Transit: Biden is calling for $85 billion to modernize existing transit. A Transportation Department figure cites a maintenance backlog of $105 billion, which includes  24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, plus track and other systems. The infusion, if enacted, would double the current federal funding. 

Amtrak: Biden, a lifetime rail enthusiast who used to commute by train between Wilmington and Washington, would shower $80 billion on Amtrak to modernize the system and improve the Northeast Corridor, which links D.C. to New York and points North. The money would go to fund repairs, boost safety and electrification, and connect new pairs of cities. Grants would ‘support passenger and freight rail safety, efficiency, and electrification.’

Airports: The plan calls for $25 billion for airports, with funds going to the existing Airport Improvement Program. It also calls for upgrades to Federal Aviation Administration assets that ‘ensure safe and efficient air travel,’ with a new program for terminal renovations and connections. 

Waterways: $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries.

Neighborhoods cut off by roads: $20 billion to reconnect neighborhoods cut off by highways and historic investments, plus research on ‘advanced pavements’.

Water restoration: Unspecified investment for ‘the protection and restoration of major land and water resources like Florida’s Everglades and the Great Lakes’.

Broadband: Push for ‘100 percent high-speed broadband coverage’ in the nation. Work with Congress to lower internet prices. The plan says Biden ‘recognizes that individual subsidies to cover internet costs may be needed in the short term,’ but thinks continually providing subsidies ‘is not the right long-term solution.’

Power grid: Build more resilient power system. Targeted investment tax credit to help build out 20 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines.

Plug oil wells: Spend $16 billion to plug ‘orphan’ oil and gas wells.

Brownfields: $5 billion for brownfields and Superfund sites.

Industrial clean energy: 15 decarbonized hydrogen demonstration projects to get industry to use clean technology.

Civilian Climate Corps: $10 billion for new Civilian Climate Corps. It’s unclear what this new unit will entail.

Affordable housing: $213 billion to ‘produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.’ Includes ‘project-based rental assistance.’ $40 billion for public housing infrastructure.

Home energy: $27 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator for home energy upgrades.

Schools: $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools, half through grants and half through bonds.

Community colleges: $12 billion to invest in community college infrastructure.

Child care: $25 billion to upgrade child care facilities.

Veterans: $18 billion for VA hospitals.

Home care: $400 billion toward ‘expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities’.

R&D: $35 billion in R&D investments. Includes $5 billion for climate research

HBCUs: $10 billion for R&D investment at historically black colleges and universities

Pandemics: $30 billion in pandemic counter measures. Includes investments in medical stockpile, testing, and research.

Power sources: $46 billion for charging ports, advanced nuclear reactors and fuel, electric heat pumps for buildings.

Dislocated workers: $40 building for dislocated workers.

Workforce training: Workforce training amid ‘persistent economic inequalities’: $12 billion for workforce development in ‘underserved communities.’ $5 billion for community violence prevention.

Apprenticeships: $48 billion in ‘American workforce development’ including 2 million new apprenticeships.

Enforcement: $10 billion to ensure fair and equal pay, workplace safety, and job sites ‘free from racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination and harassment’.

 


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