Congress Passes $305 Billion infrastructure bill
Held up by controversy around funding, Congress finally passed a $305 Billion transportation infrastructure bill.
The bill will fund a series of roads, bridges, and rail projects. Congress has been passing short-term extensions of the large federal transporation bill for nearly 10 years.
Earlier plans had sought to tax offshore profits for large multinational companies stashed in tax havens in order to pay improving transit systems, but Congress was unable to agree on using this as a funding mechanism. Instead, the bill more of less borrows the money in order to fund projects. Transit advocates also point out the money is unfairly weighted toward new highway projects, instead of addresses crumbling roads and brides and expanding public transportation options. Said U.S. PIRG:
"“The ‘FAST Act” does little to encourage states to focus on repair of our existing roads and bridges. One indicator of the depth of the problem is that states are collectively spending more than $20 billion annually to expand just one percent of the current system, while spending just $16 billion annually preserving the other 99 percent. Kicking this can down the road only makes the problem worse and the solution more expensive and painful."
The bill calls for spending approximately $205 billion on highways and $48 billion on transit projects over the next five years. Spending on improving damaged American infrastructure is widly thought of as a key strategy to helping create jobs and improve local economies. Fair Share will continue to advocate for increased investment.