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President Joe Biden yesterday announced a group of 10 Democratic and Republican senators reached an agreement on a five-year, $973 billion package to fund the nation’s infrastructure.
Of that amount, $579 billion is new spending that was not allocated though other projects. The proposal calls for $109 billion for roads and bridges; $49 billion for public transit; $66 billion for Amtrak, commuter- and freight-rail; $25 billion for airports and $55 billion for water infrastructure.
While neither side got everything it wanted, Biden praised the group’s ability to reach a consensus.
"There was serious compromises on both ends," the president said in remarks delivered after the agreement was announced.
Biden indicated his support for the physical infrastructure deal depends on Congress passing companion legislation that features some of the key priorities included in his American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan — certain soft infrastructure items not included in the bipartisan agreement.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) praised the bipartisan efforts on an “infrastructure framework that includes significant investments” for transit.
"Our nation demands forward-looking infrastructure investment that modernizes public transit and passenger rail systems and meets the growing and evolving mobility demands of communities," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas in a prepared statement. "We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help our communities meet growing mobility demands, create family-wage jobs, expand U.S. manufacturing and supply chains and grow the economy."
While optimistic about the proposed bipartisan package, Skoutelas reiterated APTA’s support for the proposed INVEST in America Act passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. That legislation would include $109 billion for public transportation and $95 billion fro commuter rail, Amtrak and other high-performance rail, he said.