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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to be Signed into Law

Friday night, the House passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan infrastructure package that passed the Senate in August. President Biden is expected to sign the bill soon.

The package includes $1.2 trillion in investments into the country’s infrastructure, including transportation, internet, and utilities. Some of the key items included and funded in the bill include: repairs to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure; clean water access; broadband internet, including efforts to close the digital divide; efforts to tackle climate change; public transit modernization; electric vehicles; grants to improve legacy passenger rail accessibility (a version of the All Station Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act); and Amtrak accessibility improvements, including the addition of a disabled person on the Amtrak Board of Directors. You can find more details in the White House fact sheet.

This package represents a historic investment in our country’s infrastructure. It will improve transportation, address climate change, reduce inequities, and create jobs. It is, however, important to note that the infrastructure bill did not pass together with the Build Back Better Act. (Read more about the Build Back Better Act.) While these were separated into two packages early on, alone they make up only part of the President’s legislative agenda.

The House did not vote on the Build Back Better Act. They did take a procedural vote that will allow the final vote to happen. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the bill is expected this week. It is expected the House will vote on the Build Back Better Act when they return from recess during the week of November 15. It will then move to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Schumer has said he hopes to pass the package before Thanksgiving. In the meantime, keep calling your Members of Congress to ensure it gets over the finish line! Check out our previous alert for more information.