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Make Way For A Bipartisan Budget

Senate is poised to pass an almost 3,000-page and $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal this week after a rare weekend session and ahead of the Senate’s month-long recess starting on August 9.

This would be the first agreement to come from Congress after months of debate over Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill, among his recent executive order and other proposals like the American Rescue Plan and American Families Plan.

The bill is not yet finalized but will be pushed forward at warp-speed, despite lingering suggestions for improvement from various members within this Congressional chamber. “Senators on both sides expect and deserve opportunities to have a say and put their own state’s imprints on this major bill,” said minority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Despite the smooth headway, Progressives are still disappointed that the bill does not live up to Biden’s initially hefty funding expectations for the climate crisis. The President, on the other hand, has already given the new deal his full endorsement.

While Senate has advanced the bill in a 66-28 vote, it will need another majority vote to pass it.

Budget Breakdown

Approximately $550 billion of the $1 trillion bill is dedicated to new spending initiatives, with the remaining ~$450 billion having been previously approved for continued spending. Currently, this bill is the most extensive government expenditure for public works since 2009.

Full Budget Breakdown for New Spending:

  • $312 billion — Transportation
    • $110 billion — Roads & bridges
    • $66 billion — Amtrak & other commuter rails
    • $49 billion — Public transit and commute
    • $25 billion — Airports
    • $62 billion — Other Misc.
  • $73 billion — Clean Energy
    • Funding for electric vehicle charging stations, climate control programs, makeover of the electric grid, and new technologies for clean energy transmissions
  • $65 billion — Broadband
    • High-speed internet for disadvantaged communities in low-income cities and rural areas
  • $21 billion — Environmental Justice
  • $79 billion — Other Misc.

Funding Breakdown

The deal currently plans on repurposing $200 billion of unused COVID-19 relief funds to fund the budget. Lawmakers have also pushed for increased IRS enforcement on cryptocurrency trading—which is expected to raise $28 billion in federal funding for the bill—as well as updated capital gains taxes.

Could this deal be the first step in Biden’s search for bipartisan compromise, as promised in his inaugural address? Or will the bill fall through the cracks of our nation’s divide like those before it?

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