In a major step towards passing an infrastructure bill, Senators unveiled the bipartisan $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Sunday. The video above shows a variety of senators discussing the bill in Senate chambers.
“I want to congratulate the members of the bipartisan group for their efforts,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “We haven’t done a large bipartisan bill of this nature in a long time.”
Schumer went on to say he believes “the Senate can quickly process relevant amendments and pass this bill in a matter of days.”
Also speaking Sunday were members of the group of 10 senators involved in negotiations on the bill, as they marked the moment by endorsing the bill.
“We will continue to once again demonstrate to our country and to the world that we can indeed do our jobs, that we can legislate, that we can work together, and that we can put aside our own political differences for the greater good of our country,” Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema said.
Republican Senator Rob Portman said the final product will be “great for the American people.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a hefty read, coming in at about 2,700 pages. It expected to provide $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit and $66 billion for rail. $55 billion will also go to water and wastewater infrastructure, as well as billions for airports, ports, broadband internet and electric vehicle charging stations.
While he spending is broadly popular among lawmakers, some Senators are hesitant to throw their weight behind it. “The fact that infrastructure is a good thing and that we need it is a different question from whether we can afford the infrastructure plan in this particular case,” Portman said.
Paying for the bill has been a challenge. Senators rejected ideas to raise revenue from a new gas tax or other streams. Instead, it is, in part, using about $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief aid, as well as, unemployment assistance that was turned back by some states. The bill also relies on projected future economic growth.