August 18, 2021
The National Special Districts Coalition published Wednesday a special report highlighting provisions of interest for special districts in the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.
The 48-page report outlines selected programs of the 2,702-page Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Spotlighted are titles and sections of the legislation authorizing major federal investments in water and wastewater infrastructure, transit and highway programs, power generation and electric grid reliability, broadband expansion, cybersecurity, western water infrastructure and drought programs, wildfire mitigation and federal land management, and more.
The Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on August 10. After which, the Chamber immediately began consideration of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 14), which unlocks the 50-member Senate Democratic Caucus’s ability to pass an expansive $3.5 trillion economic package to “enact the Build Back Better agenda,” including large swaths of President Biden’s proposed American Jobs and Families Plans unveiled earlier this year.
A memorandum from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., outlines major spending targets under the budget resolution including: universal Pre-K for three- and four-year-olds; subsidized child care for working families; tuition-free community college; expanding Medicare benefits; providing “lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants”; improving cybersecurity infrastructure; funding to address forest fires, reduce carbon emissions and address drought concerns; Civilian Climate Corps funding; clean energy development funding; coastal resiliency and healthy oceans investments; environmental justice investments in clean water affordability and access, healthy ports and climate equity; funding to invest in public housing, the Housing Trust Fund, HOME, housing affordability, equity and community land trusts, Community Development Block Grant, zoning, land use, and transit improvements; and State and Local Tax cap relief. The 301-page committee print accompanying the FY 2022 budget resolution is available here; and a one-page topline summary document is available here.
The Senate passed the budget resolution, 50-49, on August 11.
The House will return to Washington on August 23 to vote on the budget resolution, which will officially allow 25 House and Senate committees to begin work on their parts of the $3.5 trillion package. The resolution also directs the committees to write their legislation to fulfill the spending targets set forth by the budget resolution by Wednesday, September 15. The multiple bills marked up by the committees would then be bundled together by the House and/or Senate Budget Committees for floor debate as a single bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reiterated on August 11 that the House will not vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill until the Senate has also passed the budget reconciliation package (following adoption of the FY 2022 budget resolution by the Senate and House), which is unlikely to happen until October at the earliest. This means that the infrastructure bill and the budget reconciliation package won’t be enacted into law until mid- to late-fall at the earliest.
Furthermore, House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., issued a statement on August 10 indicating that he is dropping his demands for a formal House—Senate conference committee to reconcile differences between the House-passed INVEST in America Act and the Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and that he is “committed to continuing to fight for transformational funding and policies in the reconciliation process that will reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector, support American manufacturing and ingenuity, and create infrastructure that is smarter, safer, and made to last.”
By changing his focus to budget reconciliation, Chairman DeFazio appears to be backing away from trying to change the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate.
NSDC is readying further advocacy in support provisions to benefit special districts and their ability to provide essential services to their communities. NSDC will update its members as this story develops.
Contact Cole Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Coordinator, for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org.