ISSA Issues Statement on Congressional Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure BillNovember 8, 2021
Last week, U.S. Congress passed the largest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a decade. The US$1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) focuses on investments in roads, railways, bridges, and broadband internet, as well as calls for $550 billion in new spending over five years. The bill now heads to U.S. President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
“Many of our members will benefit from the bipartisan infrastructure bill Congress passed,” said ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft. “This legislation will provide much-needed investment in transportation and supply-chain resiliency for the cleaning industry in the longer term. Accordingly, we thank those members of the House of Representatives and Senate who supported this critical legislation and the President for signing the bill.”
Specifically, the infrastructure package includes the following:
The bill includes a surface transportation topline funding level of $110 billion for roads and bridges. The bill also includes $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, including intercity passenger and freight rail funding, safety improvements, and railroad crossing hazard elimination. Crucially for cities, the package includes $39.15 billion for public transit, including for maintenance, rehabilitation, and capital investment, as well as for the purchase or lease of zero- or low-emission buses.
The topline funding level for water infrastructure is $55 billion. This includes $23.4 billion for the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act. The bill also provides additional funding for addressing PFAS drinking water contamination and lead pipe replacement.
Resiliency and Energy Infrastructure
The bill provides $46 billion in funding resilience and energy infrastructure. This includes for cybersecurity to address critical infrastructure needs, waste management, flood mitigation, wildfire, drought, coastal resiliency, ecosystem restoration, and weatherization. Additionally, the legislation will strengthen the electric grid, support energy efficiency and renewable energy for residential and commercial buildings, industrial and manufacturing sectors, and schools, as well as address western water resilience and infrastructure.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocates $65 billion to closing the digital divide, through a combination of federal broadband infrastructure grants, financing, and grants for digital inclusion and affordability.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes support for cybersecurity, in recognition of the increasing threat of cyberattacks such as ransomware to critical infrastructure. The package includes a new dedicated $1 billion, five-year grant program to support state, local, tribal, and territorial cybersecurity. The package also includes supplemental funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate for Research and Development, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Office of the National Cyber Director to provide research, coordination, and assistance to federal agencies, state and local governments, and private infrastructure owners to prevent and respond to cyberattacks.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains $60 million in new funds directed towards skills training in the energy and construction sectors.
The infrastructure package will be financed through a combination of funds, such as repurposing unspent emergency relief funds from the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, the package will end the employee retention tax credit three months early—on October 1, 2021, instead of January 1, 2022. The refundable credit, a COVID-19-era payroll tax break for ailing businesses, offered up to $7,000 per worker per quarter in 2021.