CONGRESS

Fourth stimulus check: Does the new bipartisan infrastructure plan include payments?

The new infrastructure proposal has officially been proposed in the Senate after winning support from a bipartisan group including 17 Republican lawmakers.

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Fourth stimulus check: Does the new bipartisan infrastructure plan include payments?
JOSHUA ROBERTS AFP

Last Wednesday the Senate voted in favour of a $1 trillion national infrastructure plan after a deal was struck between President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators. After the 67-32 victory the proposal was first presented in the Senate on Monday, 2 August.

The proposal is much smaller than President Biden's $2.3 trillion proposal, the American Jobs Plan, but contains a lot of crucial policies. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer faces a race against time to get the 2,702-page legislation through Congress before the month-long recess from 9 August.

A summary of the document, released by the White House last week, provided a list of the planned expenditure:

  • $110 billion for roads and bridges
  • $39 billion for public transport
  • $66 billion for passenger and freight rail
  • $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations
  • $5 billion for electric and hybrid school buses
  • $42 billion to reduce congestion at ports and airports
  • $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure
  • $65 billion to expand broadband access
  • $21 billion to clean up super sites and cap obsolete gas wells
  • $73 billion to modernise the national grid and further introduce renewable energy

Does the proposal include funding for a fourth stimulus check?

At this point, neither the American Jobs Plan nor the bipartisan infrastructure proposal contains funding for an additional stimulus check. With GOP members uniformly opposed to the passage of another check, it is unlikely that one be added. As negotiations on the bill continue, the only possible way it could be included is if Democrats make it a bargaining chip wherein they trade its inclusion for a Republican priority.

Which senators are in favour?

The new infrastructure proposals will play a significant role in the next stage of President Biden’s Build Back Better legislative agenda as he looks to steer the US through the pandemic recovery. He had pledged to reshape American society when he ran for office and now in the White House this is the first major step towards instituting a more long-term plan.

With the legislation of such important to Biden it was no surprise to see all 50 Democrats in the Senate vote in favour, but the real challenge was finding at least ten Republicans to cross the aisle and prevent the filibuster.

When it came to the vote 17 Republican senators supported the bill, suggesting that it has a good chance of being signed into law. These are the 17 GOP members who voted in favour of the the bipartisan infrastructure plan:

  • Roy Blunt of Missouri
  • Richard Burr of North Carolina
  • Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
  • Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Kevin Cramer of North Dakota
  • Mike Crapo of Idaho
  • Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  • Chuck Grassley of Iowa
  • John Hoeven of North Dakota
  • Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Jim Risch of Idaho
  • Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Thom Tillis of North Carolina
  • Todd Young of Indiana