Still, Biden touted the new deal Wednesday.
“This deal makes key investments to put people to work all across the country — in cities, small towns, rural communities, and across our coastlines and plains,” he said.
Changes can still be made before the bill is voted on. The Senate could make amendments to the text and then it must be sent to the House for approval before making its way to the President’s desk.
Here’s what we know so far about the latest version of the agreement, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House and the summary.
Funding for roads and bridges
The deal also contains $17.5 billion for major projects that would be too large or complex for traditional funding programs.
Some 20%, or 173,000 miles, of the nation’s highways and major roads are in poor condition, as are 45,000 bridges, according to the White House.
The investments would focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
Also included in the package is $11 billion for transportation safety, including a program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities, especially of cyclists and pedestrians. It would direct funding to highway, truck and pipelines and hazardous materials safety efforts.
Money for transit and rail
The package would provide $39 billion to modernize public transit and improve accessibility for the elderly and the disabled, less than the $49 billion contained in the earlier bipartisan deal and the $85 billion that Biden initially wanted to invest in modernizing transit systems and help them expand to meet rider demand.
The funds would repair and upgrade existing infrastructure, make stations accessible to all users, bring transit service to new communities and modernize rail and bus fleets, including replacing thousands of vehicles with zero-emission models.
The deal would also invest $66 billion in rail to eliminate Amtrak’s maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor line and bring rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Included in the package is $12 billion in partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail.
The funding is the same as in bipartisan framework but less than the $80 billion Biden originally wanted to send to Amtrak, which he relied upon for decades to get home to Delaware from Washington, DC.
It would be the largest federal investment in public transit in history and in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago, according to the White House.
Biden initially wanted to invest $100 billion in broadband.
It also aims to help lower the price households pay for internet service by requiring federal funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by creating price transparency and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service. It would also create a permanent federal program to help more low-income households access the internet, according to the White House fact sheet.
Upgrading airports, ports and waterways
The deal would invest $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports and promote electrification and other low-carbon technologies.
It is similar to the funding in the bipartisan deal and Biden’s original proposal.
The bill would provide $7.5 billion for zero- and low-emission buses and ferries, aiming to deliver thousands of electric school buses to districts across the country.
Another $7.5 billion would go to building a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers.
Improving power and water systems
The bill would invest $73 billion in the nation’s power structure, to build thousands of miles of new power lines and expand renewable energy.
It would provide $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure, replacing lead service lines and pipes so that communities have access to clean drinking water. Another $50 billion would go towards making the system more resilient — protecting it from drought, floods and cyber attacks.
The bill would provide $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells.
How Congress will pay for it
The White House and Congress are looking at more than a dozen measures that would pay for the proposal, according to the 57-page summary of the deal.
The largest is likely repurposing unused Covid relief funds, which is estimated to provide $205 billion. But the summary does not offer details on what money from prior rescue packages would be shifted to pay for the infrastructure deal.
Lawmakers are also planning to recoup funds from fraudulent pandemic unemployment payments, but the summary does not provide a dollar amount. These enhanced benefits have been the target of scammers, but how much has been stolen and how much can be recovered is not known.
Also, the Congressional Budget Office reduced its forecast for the unemployment rate because of the improving economy.
As a result, the federal government will most likely spend less on the pandemic jobless programs than expected, but experts have questioned how much could be saved from unemployment.
Also, the infrastructure proposal relies on generating $56 billion in economic growth resulting from a 33% return on investment on the long-term projects.
Lawmakers and the White House expect to raise another $28 billion by changing the tax reporting rules on cryptocurrency, $20 billion from future sales of spectrum auctions and to utilize $67 billion from spectrum sales that already occurred. They also propose imposing various fees to tens of billions of dollars.
Biden said in a statement that the bill won’t raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year and does not include a gas tax increase or fee on electric vehicles. He initially called for raising taxes on corporations to fund the infrastructure investments — but that proposal did not make it into the latest package after strong opposition from Republicans.
The deal leaves out Biden’s proposal to spend $400 billion to bolster caregiving for aging and disabled Americans — the second largest measure in the American Jobs Plan.
His proposal would have expanded access to long-term care services under Medicaid, eliminating the wait list for hundreds of thousands of people. It would have provided more opportunity for people to receive care at home through community-based services or from family members.
It would also have improved the wages of home health workers, who now make approximately $12 an hour, and would have put in place an infrastructure to give caregiving workers the opportunity to join a union.
Also left on the sideline: $100 billion for workforce development, which would have helped dislocated workers, assisted underserved groups and put students on career paths before they graduate high school.
The deal also leaves out the $18 billion Biden proposed to modernize the Veterans Affairs hospitals, which are on average 47 years older than a private-sector hospital.
Fintech Zoom’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.