November 8, 2021

Infrastructure Bill

“The House approved a $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects late Friday… The House passed the measure 228-206, prompting prolonged cheers from the relieved Democratic side of the chamber. Thirteen Republicans, mostly moderates, supported the legislation while six of Democrats’ farthest left members — including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri — opposed it.” AP News

The bill includes:

  • Highways, bridges and roads: $110 billion
  • Passenger and freight rail: $66 billion
  • Public transit: $39 billion
  • Airports: $25 billion
  • Electric grid modernization: $65 billion
  • Broadband internet: $65 billion
  • Water and wastewater infrastructure: $55 billion

Here’s our earlier coverage of the infrastructure bill. The Flip Side

See past issues

From the Right

The right is critical of the bill, arguing that it is too costly and includes items beyond traditional infrastructure.

From the Left

The left praises the bill, arguing that it is a major success for the Biden administration.

The left praises the bill, arguing that it is a major success for the Biden administration.

A libertarian's take

“The infrastructure bill could have been an opportunity to reform [federal] rules that unnecessarily drive up the cost of building infrastructure. Like the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that most workers on federally subsidized building projects are paid the local ‘prevailing wage’ negotiated by unions even if the workers themselves are not unionized—and only about 13 percent of construction workers are part of a union. The Davis-Bacon Act rules can increase the costs of infrastructure projects by as much as 20 percent…

“Similarly, the infrastructure package could have suspended or eliminated parts of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in order to streamline environmental reviews of infrastructure projects. Currently, NEPA reviews take more than four years on average, and they are frequently used as tools to block development for reasons that often have little to do with the environment… The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill now sitting on Biden's desk is one of the most expensive legislative packages in American history. But even though $1.2 trillion is an almost unfathomable amount of money, that spending will end up doing far less than it otherwise could have.”
Eric Boehm, Reason

On the bright side...

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