Last Friday, November 5th, the House of Representatives worked late into the evening to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill 25 years in the making—turning the long overdue promise of investment in America’s roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure into a reality that will create millions of jobs and improve the quality of life for every American.
This year, the Chamber led many months of negotiations on behalf of the legislative package, which won the support of business, labor, Republicans, Democrats, and according to the Harvard Center for American Political Studies, the backing of 78% of Americans.
The bill makes a record investment in our nation’s infrastructure, but despite its popularity, many still have questions about what exactly is in the legislation Congress passed and sent to the President’s desk.
Here, we share the facts and debunk the fallacies about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
FACT: The bill is the largest investment in physical infrastructure in history.
The IIJA addresses basic American needs like clean drinking water, wastewater disposal and treatment, safe roads, and a reliable electrical power grid. It also makes the biggest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak and the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.
FALLACY: The bill is only 10-30% real infrastructure.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill is 100% real infrastructure. It funds $1.2 trillion in physical infrastructure, including $550 billion in new funds for much needed investment. Here’s how it breaks down:
FACT: The bill precipitates a resilient energy independent future for the U.S.
The infrastructure bill’s energy provisions direct funding for traditional fossil fuels and the technologies needed to capture and remove carbon emissions, as well as advanced nuclear, renewables, and batter technology. It also expands access to domestically sourced critical minerals and finances the retrofitting and “hardening” of power grids so that our communities can better withstand the impact of natural disasters. The strict 100% renewable energy mandates of the Green New Deal are NOT a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
FALLACY: The bill will lead to increased inflation.
Unlike the reckless multi-trillion reconciliation bill that will increase inflation, the bipartisan infrastructure legislation is an investment over several years into infrastructure assets that will benefit our economy for decades. Economists agree that making improvements to roads, bridges, ports, airports, railways, and other transport routes will allow businesses to operate more cost-effectively, and ultimately result in consumer savings.
FACT: This is a fiscally responsible bill.
According to an analysis by Penn Wharton, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will lead to a decrease in the national deficit and is a net benefit to the economy over the next 30 years. As companies and workers join projects financed by the bill, earn paychecks, and spend money in our economy, government revenue from personal income and business tax will rise, ultimately lessening the deficit and lowering our debt.
FALLACY: There’s no way to pay for the bill.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill repurposes existing reserves of more than $225 billion from unused unemployment insurance and unused COVID aid to finance projects in the bill.
FACT: The bill is an answer to the modern infrastructure challenges of today.
The last World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report ranked the United States 13th in the world for overall quality of infrastructure. Not only does the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act solve for elemental health and safety problems like lead drinking water pipes and aging roadways, but it also meets our nation’s needs of today through investment in modern public transit, improvements to ports, waterways, and airports, and expanded access to internet connectivity. These things are fundamental for people and businesses to thrive, be competitive, and pursue their dreams in 21st century America.
The truth is that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act meets the moment of the modern American Dream. And it couldn’t have come at a more timely stage in our economic recovery. As we emerge from the pandemic and begin to usher in a new phase of growth and global competitiveness, this long-awaited promise kept will help the business community fuel our nation’s next-steps—finding workers and getting projects underway.