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On the Hill: New, $1.2T Bipartisan Physical Infrastructure Plan

A bipartisan group of 10 senators announced last week a $1.2 trillion deal on a physical infrastructure legislative package.

The announcement comes after months-long negotiations between the Biden administration and Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), fell apart last week.

According to media reports, the new, eight-year plan includes roughly $579 billion in new spending. The bipartisan group indicated its infrastructure plan would not include income and corporate tax increases. Instead, the proposal would be paid for, in part, by recouping unallocated COVID-19 relief funds, payments related to electric vehicles, and an “infrastructure financing authority.” Few other details have been reported.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed skepticism that this bipartisan plan could secure the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure cleared a $547 billion surface transportation bill, creating a legislative vehicle for a broader infrastructure package in the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) aims to pass infrastructure legislation by July 4.

The path for a more comprehensive infrastructure package remains unclear. Democratic leaders are taking initial steps to employ the budget reconciliation process, which would only require a majority vote, to pass infrastructure provisions in the president’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan with less bipartisan support.

Hearings of Note

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will convene June 15 for a hearing to discuss enhancing public health through COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The same day, Michelle Durham, MD, MPH, with association member Boston Medical Center, will testify at a Senate Committee on Finance hearing about mental health care in the United States.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Education and Labor will convene June 16 for a hearing on policies and priorities of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will testify on behalf of the Biden administration.

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About the Author

Christina Fagnano is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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