The $1.2trn US infrastructure deal explained 

America’s $1.2trn infrastructure bill was passed late on Friday night, securing the largest amount of investment in infrastructure seen in over ten years.

Broadly speaking, the investment will include refurbishing roads, replacing lead pipes and improving America’s power grid, in addition to supposed climate change focused infrastructure.

In order to pay for the additional spending, $200bn in funds originally earmarked for Covid-19 will be used, as well as $50bn from a rule on Medical rebates from the Trump era. Also, $50bn will be taken from a number of states’ unemployment insurance supplemental funds which haven’t been used.

Close to half of the $1.2trn is previously approved funding.

The bill passed thanks to 13 uniparty Republicans, along with the Congressional Black Caucus, who short-sheeted House Progressives, to the bemusement of many conservatives in America.

Tax hikes and an upgrade of IRS enforcement capabilities will be needed too to offset the high levels of spending, both of which could be included into the reconciliation bill.

It has been estimated that $256bn could be added on to the nation’s budget deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which will end up on America’s already enormous $29trn debt.

Back to the specifics involved. What are some of the specific infrastructure changes?

Around $110bn will be spent on improving the nation’s roads and bridges. $39bn will be spent on upgrading public transit systems, including improving access for the elderly and disabled.

Amtrak, having been created half a century ago, will see its biggest ever investment with $66bn set aside for high-speed rail.

The bill will seek to ensure that every American has access to high-speed internet via $65bn of spending.

Thousands of miles of new transmission lines will be provided in addition to environmentally friendly smart-grid technology, in an effort to upgrade America’s energy grid.

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