Will the new Bipartisan agreement include new stimulus money or tax breaks?
Debate over the bipartisan infrastructure package, the Investment Infrastructure and Jobs Plan began. Does the bill include a stimulus check or tax breaks?
The text of the Bipartisan Infrastructure package, which has officially been named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has yet to be released. However, with debate over the proposal beginning in the Senate, details over what Democrats and Republicans agreed to are trickling out.
The debate officially started in the Senate after a procedural vote took place on Wednesday 28 July.
What do we know about the bill?
In late April, President Joe Biden released his American Jobs Plan, a proposal focused on rebuilding the nation's infrastructure and improving working conditions across the economy.
The White House had stated that the plan would invest $2 trillion over ten years and focus on three major areas: investments in physical infrastructure; improvements to working conditions for those in the care economy; and righting the injustices of past housing and infrastructure bills that harmed or left out disadvantaged communities.
Investments in physical infrastructure like roads and bridges also included funding to increase the resilience of the nation’s transportation system and energy grid to climate change. Provisions to improve access to clean water and reduce air and other forms of environmental pollution were also included.
The American Jobs Plan had included the extension of benefits to workers of the care economy who have been fighting at the forefront of the pandemic. The bill had also included measures that would send aid to communities who were broken up or left out of major infrastructure projects in the past.
The IIJA is much smaller and either completely eliminated or cut funding significantly for many of these initiatives. For example, of the $111 billion dollars the American Jobs Plan allocated for water infrastructure, only $50 billion was included in the bipartisan package. A chuck of this funding had been allocated by the President to eliminate lead pipes from all of the nation’s lead pipes.
The only measure that received the same amount of funding in the President and Senate’s proposals is pollution clean-up. Both the AJP and the IIJA allocated "$21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment in addressing the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods in American history, creating good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice."
Does it include a stimulus check or tax credit or break?
The group of Senators who worked on the package eliminated over $386 billion worth of clean energy tax credits. These credits were designed to assist individuals, municipalities, and businesses transition to clean energy sources and options, such as solar panels or electric vehicles and buses.
In recent weeks, the Republican party has begun to argue that the sending of the third stimulus checks, payments for the Child Tax Credit, and enhanced federal unemployment benefits are contributing to an inflation crisis. Currently, the Republican caucus is unified in their opposition of additional money being sent to the American people.
However, the delta variant is starting to pose a threat to the economic recovery, and in the case that lockdown measures are implemented, the federal government may need to send additional aid to workers still out of a job.
More and more vaccinated people are contracting the virus, but without proper reporting at the federal level, these “breakthrough” cases are hard to quantify and predict the rate at which they will occur. are being reported.