Roundtable Weekly
House Democrats Release Infrastructure Package Details; Vote Expected Next Week
June 26, 2020

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House Democrats on June 22 released details of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package – the Moving Forward Act  (H.R. 2) – that they plan to bring to a vote before July 4, although the measure’s prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate are uncertain. (Bill Text | Section-by-Section | Fact Sheet)

  • The comprehensive Democratic infrastructure package, totaling about $1 trillion, has been combined with a $494 billion surface transportation bill – the INVEST in America Act – that would fund roads, bridges, and mass transit before current finding for the Highway Trust Fund expires on September 30.   (House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee news release, June 22)
  • The broad Moving Forward Act also addresses the nation’s housing, water, broadband, clean energy, and education systems.  More than 300 amendments to the package are expected to be considered on Monday by the House Rules Committee before it is advanced to the House floor.  (Miller & Chevalier, June 25)
  • About two-thirds of the infrastructure package does not appear to have specifics for funding, although some financing measures are listed for elements of the bill.  (CQ, June 22). 
  • The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee issued an excerpt of the 2,309-page bill containing the revenue provisions. 
  • Rep. Richard Neal, (D-MA), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, floated the idea of reinstating “Build America” government bonds that could help spur private investment, as well as “a massive expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit”. (Ways & Means news release, June 18) 
  • Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), T&I’s Ranking Member, last week announced an alternative bill for surface transportation programs and on June 23 stated, “Now the bill has been completely swallowed up … and turned into a colossal $1.5 trillion wish list for the Majority.”
  • The Trump administration is reportedly preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure package proposal focused on transportation projects. (Reuters, June 15)
  • The critical need for infrastructure improvements was supported this week by a National League of Cities survey, which showed that coronavirus-related expenses have forced more than 700 U.S. cities to suspend or terminate plans to upgrade critical infrastructure.  (Washington Post, June 23)

“The survey found that 65% of cities are being forced to delay or completely cancel capital expenditures and infrastructure projects, which will not only stifle job growth and slow local economic activity, but further jeopardize economic recovery efforts in communities across the nation," said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities. "Without congressional action now, the forced delay or cancellation of infrastructure projects will create an economic ripple effect throughout the nation not felt in decades.” (National League of Cities, June 23)

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