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Senate Agrees on Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

On July 28, 2021, the U.S. Senate finally advanced a bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (“Senate Bill”) impacting several industries but partiality the construction and transportation sectors. The Senate Bill is subject to additional amendments as it has yet to be voted on by the Senate, which is likely to occur before the August recess.

The bipartisan deal is designed to create jobs, address climate change, enhance America’s competitiveness, and grow an enduring economy.  It’s expected to cost around $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $550 billion to be covered by new federal investments. The federal investment would be financed by “redirected unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, and strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies.” Currently, no tax increases were proposed as part of the deal.

The complete fact sheet from The White House Briefing Room identifies how the new investment of $550 billion will be spent, and most notably, $110 billion will be directed for roads, bridges, and other major projects. As Bill Sullivan from the American Trucking Associations highlighted, “most of the revenue will be distributed to the states by formula,” but a significant amount will be available through grant programs as well. In addition, the deal includes a separate allocation of $11 billion for implementation of infrastructure safety programs. Most notably, the controversial PRO Act is not included in the Senate Bill which seeks to expand employee organizing opportunities and revise the employee/independent contractor classification test on the federal level.

It is anticipated that there will be pushback from the U.S. House as multiple provisions from the House Bill were omitted from the Senate proposal. Furthermore, the proposed Senate Bill falls short of President Biden’s $2.25 trillion proposal and fails to include expansion on Medicaid spending, wage and unionization provisions, workforce development, and the modernization of VA hospitals.

Depending on the final version agreed upon by the House and Senate, it is anticipated that the final Bill will create over 2 million jobs improving our highways and bridges which are desperately needed to improve the flow of commerce in the United States. This would be a tremendous boost to both the construction and transportation business sectors.

Please feel free to contact any member of our Construction or Transportation/Logistics Practice Groups with any questions concerning the impact of the pending legislation.

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