Vice President, Transportation, Infrastructure, and Supply Chain Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
November 15, 2022
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law, an accomplishment that turns a long overdue promise of providing robust investment in America’s roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure into a reality. This law boosts America’s competitiveness while improving the quality of life for all Americans.
We applaud the work to implement this law. It will unfurl changes that will improve how we deliver critical infrastructure while also increasing investments in the roads, bridges, utilities, and other critical infrastructure that benefit our economic competitiveness and our communities. It is important to note that this investment is long-term – the funding will take time to move from Washington to project sites. Guidelines, rules, and application procedures for disbursements must first be crafted before funding and projects can progress across the country.
While we celebrate the one-year anniversary of IIJA, the U.S. Chamber continues to urge policymakers to take additional steps to bolster the investments made by IIJA, including, but not limited to, permitting reform, workforce development, broadband spending coordination and planning, and regulatory relief. Taking these steps will ensure the promise of investment is able to turn into action.
So far, progress in the form of grant awards, initial planning funds, notice of funding opportunities, and more has been made, including the following:
Transportation and Supply Chains
$185 billion has been announced and is in the process of going to states, tribes, territories, and local governments across the federal government.
- The Federal Highway Administration has released $59.9 billion for FY 23 for 12 formula programs to support investment in bridges, tunnels, carbon emission reduction, and safety improvements to roads and bridges.
- The Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program plans for all 50 states and Puerto Rico as well as issued a proposed rule that once finalized will allow for the transfer of funds ($5 billion over 5 years for 500,000 EV charging stations).
- The Federal Transit Administration announced it will provide $600 million to replace aging railcars to improve safety, reliability, and accessibility on transit systems.
- $233 million has been awarded to 11 projects in 8 states to improve and modernize intercity passenger rail.
- DOT has announced $1.5 billion for 26 major transportation projects under the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program. These projects focused on strengthening supply chains and are located primarily in rural areas disadvantaged business communities.
- DOT Awarded $1 billion to 85 airports across the country to improve airport terminals, increase energy efficiency, promote competition, provide greater access to persons with disabilities, and enhance safety.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which provides a monthly benefit to help low-income Americans get online. To date, more than 15 million Americans are participating in the program.
- The ACP was paired with voluntary commitments by twenty internet service providers to offer ACP-eligible households internet plans for no more than $30 per month.
- The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a notice of funding opportunity outlining how the IIJA’s $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) will function.
- NTIA provided initial planning funds for all states and territories on August 17th, which allows states and territories to effectively plan to use their BEAD funding.
- NTIA has made 34 awards totaling approximately $83 million in funding through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which received $2 billion in the IIJA.
Energy and Water
- The Department of Energy announced $2.3 billion in formula funding to States, Tribal nations, and territories to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $9 billion in funding in FY 2022 and 2023 through their State Revolving Fund programs for states, tribes, and territories to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, and more.
- FEMA announced the FY 22 notice of funding availability for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program. Submissions are due by January 23, 2023.
The Administration compiled a full list of IIJA funding commitments and projects, which can be found here. While it is clear much progress has been made, there is still more work to be done. We look forward to continued implementation and action, helping boost America’s competitiveness and improve the quality of life for all Americans.
About the authors
John Drake is vice president for transportation, infrastructure, supply chain policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business advocacy organization. In his role, Drake is responsible for representing the business community on transportation, infrastructure, and supply chain issues before Congress, the administration, the media, the business community, and other stakeholders. Drake is also a member of the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on improvements to U.S. trade.