Breaking Down the Infrastructure Bill and How It Can Help Your Business 

Breaking Down the Infrastructure Bill and How It Can Help Your Business 

After weeks of speculation and debate, Congress finally passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684)...

After weeks of speculation and debate, Congress finally passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) on November 5, 2021. The massive spending bill cleared the House by a vote of 228-206, with only 13 Republicans supporting the bill, alongside all but 6 Democrats.

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill represents a historic investment in the country’s roads, bridges, ports, and rail transit. It also contains significant funding for safe water, the electric grid, high-speed internet, and environmental remediation.

What’s Included in the Infrastructure Bill?

At its core, the infrastructure bill provides significant funding for infrastructure improvements. Below are several key areas that will receive funding:

  • Roads and Bridges: The largest funding allocation is $110 billion to repair the country’s aging highways, bridges, and roads. According to the Biden Administration, the investment is sorely needed given that 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads, and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition.
  • Public Transportation: A total of $39 billion will go to repairing and expanding the country’s public transit systems. Among other initiatives, funding will be used to improve accessibility for disabled individuals and help state and local governments purchase zero-emission and low-emission buses.
  • Passenger Rail: The bill includes $66 billion to improve passenger rail service along several key routes, including the Northeast Corridor.
  • High-speed Internet: A total of $65 billion in funding for broadband access seeks to improve internet services for rural areas, low-income families, and tribal communities.
  • Airports: The bill includes $25 billion to improve runways, gates, taxiways, and terminals at airports and upgrade air traffic control towers.
  • Power Grid: The bill devotes $65 billion to improving the reliability and resiliency of the power grid. 
  • Electric Vehicles: The bill allocates $7.5 billion to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations and another $5 billion for the purchase of electric/hybrid school buses.
  • Water: A total of $15 billion is allocated to the replacement of lead pipes, and $10 billion will be used to address water contamination from Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 
  • Environmental Remediation: The bill will invest $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land, and cap orphaned oil and gas wells.

What About the Build Back Better Act?

The infrastructure bill is just the first of several key pieces of legislation that the Biden Administration hopes to pass in the next several weeks. Democrats also hope to pass a $1.75 trillion social safety net and climate bill known as the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). Among other provisions, the legislation would expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and vision care; provide certain aliens with a path to permanent resident status (e.g., those who entered the United States as minors); provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; and restructure and increase the tax rates for certain corporations and high-income individuals. It would also establish programs to provide up to six semesters of free community college, free childcare for children under the age of six, and free universal preschool services.

With no Republicans on board, Democrats can lose no more than three Democrats in the House and need unanimous support from the party in the Senate. To date, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have both expressed reservations about the social spending bill. In addition, the Senate parliamentarian must review the bill to ensure it complies with the rules for reconciliation, which will allow the measure to pass by a simple majority in the chamber. 

The clock is also ticking. The Senate is only scheduled to be in session for three weeks more weeks this year, with its recess set to begin on December 10, 2021. During that timeframe, Congress will also need to raise or suspend the debt ceiling and pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

When Will Infrastructure Funding Be Available?

While the passage of the infrastructure bill was a monumental accomplishment, it is just the first step of a lengthy process. The task of implementing the initiatives will fall on federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal agencies will need to develop new programs and revamp existing ones, as well as draft the rules and regulations to govern them. Given that they own or operate a large share of the country’s infrastructure, local municipalities will also play a pivotal role, which will include identifying and executing needed projects on the ground. 

The rollout of such a massive government spending plan is bound to have hiccups. In addition to developing the new programs, agencies will need to hire a wide range of professionals and implement new technology to help carry it out. Hopefully, the White House will remember the lessons of the disastrous  2013 rollout of the Affordable Care Act and plan accordingly.

How to Reap the Benefits of Increased Government Spending

While it may take time to bring projects to fruition, a massive influx of new federal funding is coming. It will bring a wealth of new opportunities for a wide range of industries, including energy, transportation, electric vehicles, environmental services, cybersecurity, water, and broadband. 

Scarinci Hollenbeck will continue to monitor new rules, regulations, and other guidance issued in connection with the Infrastructure Investment and American Jobs Act. Based in our Washington, D.C. office, Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Government Strategies practice group also stands ready to assist entities looking to capitalize on the new infrastructure spending, which includes helping to navigate the government funding and project approval process.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Teddy Eynon, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.


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AboutEdward "Teddy" Eynon

Edward “Teddy” Eynon is Managing Partner of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Washington, D.C. office. Teddy regularly represents clients in numerous government-related matters, including public policy, energy and environment, budget, defense, healthcare, financial services, transportation & infrastructure, congressional investigations, and oversight issues.Full Biography

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Breaking Down the Infrastructure Bill and How It Can Help Your Business 

Breaking Down the Infrastructure Bill and How It Can Help Your Business 
Author: Edward "Teddy" Eynon

After weeks of speculation and debate, Congress finally passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) on November 5, 2021. The massive spending bill cleared the House by a vote of 228-206, with only 13 Republicans supporting the bill, alongside all but 6 Democrats.

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill represents a historic investment in the country’s roads, bridges, ports, and rail transit. It also contains significant funding for safe water, the electric grid, high-speed internet, and environmental remediation.

What’s Included in the Infrastructure Bill?

At its core, the infrastructure bill provides significant funding for infrastructure improvements. Below are several key areas that will receive funding:

  • Roads and Bridges: The largest funding allocation is $110 billion to repair the country’s aging highways, bridges, and roads. According to the Biden Administration, the investment is sorely needed given that 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads, and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition.
  • Public Transportation: A total of $39 billion will go to repairing and expanding the country’s public transit systems. Among other initiatives, funding will be used to improve accessibility for disabled individuals and help state and local governments purchase zero-emission and low-emission buses.
  • Passenger Rail: The bill includes $66 billion to improve passenger rail service along several key routes, including the Northeast Corridor.
  • High-speed Internet: A total of $65 billion in funding for broadband access seeks to improve internet services for rural areas, low-income families, and tribal communities.
  • Airports: The bill includes $25 billion to improve runways, gates, taxiways, and terminals at airports and upgrade air traffic control towers.
  • Power Grid: The bill devotes $65 billion to improving the reliability and resiliency of the power grid. 
  • Electric Vehicles: The bill allocates $7.5 billion to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations and another $5 billion for the purchase of electric/hybrid school buses.
  • Water: A total of $15 billion is allocated to the replacement of lead pipes, and $10 billion will be used to address water contamination from Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 
  • Environmental Remediation: The bill will invest $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land, and cap orphaned oil and gas wells.

What About the Build Back Better Act?

The infrastructure bill is just the first of several key pieces of legislation that the Biden Administration hopes to pass in the next several weeks. Democrats also hope to pass a $1.75 trillion social safety net and climate bill known as the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). Among other provisions, the legislation would expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and vision care; provide certain aliens with a path to permanent resident status (e.g., those who entered the United States as minors); provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; and restructure and increase the tax rates for certain corporations and high-income individuals. It would also establish programs to provide up to six semesters of free community college, free childcare for children under the age of six, and free universal preschool services.

With no Republicans on board, Democrats can lose no more than three Democrats in the House and need unanimous support from the party in the Senate. To date, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have both expressed reservations about the social spending bill. In addition, the Senate parliamentarian must review the bill to ensure it complies with the rules for reconciliation, which will allow the measure to pass by a simple majority in the chamber. 

The clock is also ticking. The Senate is only scheduled to be in session for three weeks more weeks this year, with its recess set to begin on December 10, 2021. During that timeframe, Congress will also need to raise or suspend the debt ceiling and pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

When Will Infrastructure Funding Be Available?

While the passage of the infrastructure bill was a monumental accomplishment, it is just the first step of a lengthy process. The task of implementing the initiatives will fall on federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal agencies will need to develop new programs and revamp existing ones, as well as draft the rules and regulations to govern them. Given that they own or operate a large share of the country’s infrastructure, local municipalities will also play a pivotal role, which will include identifying and executing needed projects on the ground. 

The rollout of such a massive government spending plan is bound to have hiccups. In addition to developing the new programs, agencies will need to hire a wide range of professionals and implement new technology to help carry it out. Hopefully, the White House will remember the lessons of the disastrous  2013 rollout of the Affordable Care Act and plan accordingly.

How to Reap the Benefits of Increased Government Spending

While it may take time to bring projects to fruition, a massive influx of new federal funding is coming. It will bring a wealth of new opportunities for a wide range of industries, including energy, transportation, electric vehicles, environmental services, cybersecurity, water, and broadband. 

Scarinci Hollenbeck will continue to monitor new rules, regulations, and other guidance issued in connection with the Infrastructure Investment and American Jobs Act. Based in our Washington, D.C. office, Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Government Strategies practice group also stands ready to assist entities looking to capitalize on the new infrastructure spending, which includes helping to navigate the government funding and project approval process.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Teddy Eynon, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.