What’s in the infrastructure and reconciliation bills for transportation

Tanya Snyder

The House has finally accomplished what it has struggled for weeks to achieve — passing an historic bill that will rebuild the nation’s physical infrastructure — after protracted and sometimes tortured interparty strife. The bill was cleared 228-206 just before midnight.

Congress must still tackle a separate social spending reconciliation package when they return after a recess next week.

Together, both bills contain significant investments in transportation. Here's your cheat sheet for what they do for infrastructure.

Roads, bridges and major projects: $110 billion in new money, including a $37 billion new bridge repair and replacement program;

Passenger and freight rail: $66 billion in new money for the Northeast Corridor and Amtrak’s National Network, including $3 billion to improve safety at rail crossings, plus another $10 billion in the reconciliation bill for high-speed rail projects;

Safety: $11 billion for highway and pedestrian safety programs, plus pipeline safety;

Transit: $39 billion in the infrastructure bill, plus another $10 billion in the reconciliation bill focused on improving transit access to low-income communities and public housing, effectively doubling federal transit funding;

Broadband: $65 billion, which will help make connected cars communicate with each other, among other major goals;

Ports and waterways: $17 billion for waterway and coastal infrastructure;

Airports: $25 billion, including an increase for grants for airport capital projects and a new airport terminal improvement program;

Energy: $65 billion, some of which will help the grid prepare for electrifying transportation and some of which will help fund critical mineral development and supply chain improvements that could be key for electric vehicle batteries;

Resiliency: $47 billion, including mitigation against floods, wildfires and drought as well as cybersecurity;

Clean school buses and ferries: $7.5 billion, including $5 billion to replace school buses with zero emission and clean ones;

Electrification: The infrastructure bill spends $7.5 billion to build a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The reconciliation bill adds a consumer tax credit of up to $12,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle;

Reconnecting communities: $1 billion in the infrastructure bill and another $4 billion in the reconciliation bill to remove barriers that cut low-income communities off from opportunity, including highways; and

Community climate incentive grant program: The reconciliation bill includes $4 billion for a key Democratic priority left out of the infrastructure bill: incentives for states and cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

What's next: The Senate passed the infrastructure bill, H.R. 3684 (117), in August. Friday's House action clears the bill for President Joe Biden's signature.

The House plans to vote later this month on the reconciliation bill, H.R. 5376 (117), which also faces hurdles in the Senate, chiefly from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) but also the Senate parliamentarian, who may rule parts of the bill incompatible with the reconciliation process.

In the case of the infrastructure bill, President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law.