U.S. House of Representatives Unveils Green Infrastructure Package

U.S. House of Representatives Unveils Green Infrastructure Package

After months of waiting with bated breath, Democrats of the House of Representatives released a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure and recovery bill. The Moving Forward Act, which spans more than 2,000 pages, addresses America’s infrastructure and recovery needs.

The package combines several stand-alone infrastructure bills, including a surface transportation title, which was released a few weeks earlier under the name Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act. The transportation bill proposes to authorize $494 billion over five years for building and maintaining roads, bridges and transit programs. The bill also includes significant investment in other areas of the economy, including $100 billion for public housing, $25 billion for drinking water, $100 billion for broadband, $70 billion for clean energy projects, $100 billion for low income schools, and $30 billion for hospital upgrades, among other provisions.

In a move perhaps unprecedented before the 116th Congress, the legislation has an explicit focus on climate resiliency – giving it the feel of a ‘Green New Deal.’

According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the bill would tackle the nation’s infrastructure needs in a “green and resilient way.” The bill intends to help stimulate the economy in the wake of the coronavirus.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said that package makes a two-fold promise of job creation and climate change mitigation.

The bill is expected to pass the House in a vote on July 4 but will likely face considerable opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. While infrastructure is a rare bipartisan opportunity in a deeply divided political climate, the two parties significantly diverge on climate issues.