Is the Third Time a Charm: Can the Need to Rebuild the Economy Secure an Infrastructure Bill in this Congress?

President Biden’s next legislative priority is passage of an infrastructure and economic recovery package. Earlier this year, the President outlined his proposal, The American Jobs Plan, which seeks to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and advance clean energy initiatives while helping to create jobs and rebuild our economy as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a 2019 World Economic Forum report, the U.S. currently ranks 13th in the overall quality of our infrastructure. The American Jobs Plan supports long-overdue investment in our roads, bridges and waterways to help revitalize our outdated infrastructure. The plan also calls for electric infrastructure to help modernize and strengthen our nation’s grid.

In addition to the more traditional ‘gray infrastructure’ investment proposals, President Biden’s plan also addresses several other initiatives, including expanding access to broadband and high-speed internet in American communities. The American Jobs Plan also redefines the definition of infrastructure to include support for care infrastructure to support the elderly and disabled.

As federal lawmakers consider legislation on infrastructure over the coming weeks and months, there are several proposals that will be debated. Compromise will be needed to reach a bipartisan agreement.

Both the Obama and Trump administrations sought big infrastructure packages, but Congress was unable to pass any meaningful legislation. Perhaps today’s economic hardships will bring spur Congress to secure a much-needed infrastructure retool.

In this month’s edition, we will explore some of the specific infrastructure investment proposals being considered and their ability to rebuild the country and economy.

Gloria Story Dittus, Chairman, Story Partners