What is Infrastructure Week?

The phrase ‘Infrastructure Week’ has become a punchline in U.S. politics, and has been keeping the political media and followers engaged for years. Here’s your shortcut to understanding where the phrase comes from.

The Trump administration popularised the idea of a massive infrastructure plan for years (but ultimately, failed to deliver it). ‘Infrastructure Week’ was the idea of discussing infrastructure and announcing plans, for all seven days of the week. The idea followed Biden into his presidency, coming to a head this year, when the President unveiled a giant infrastructure bill worth around $1 trillion.

Why is Infrastructure Week taking so long? 

Both Democrats and Republicans could not agree on how much money to spend on infrastructure, or where to spend the money, meaning ‘Infrastructure Week’ kept getting delayed. 

Commenting on the length of the process, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on the weekend, “the Senate is going to move forward on both tracks of infrastructure before the beginning of the August recess. The longer it takes to finish, the longer we’ll be here. But we’re going to get the job done”.  

So, it looks like Infrastructure Week might just actually happen. 

Last week, the Senate voted 66-28 to advance the infrastructure bill to debate and consideration. 16 Republicans joined all 48 Democrats and two independents in support. The U.S. Senate this weekend held a rare Saturday session for the bill, to start discussions.    

The bill breakdown: 

The bill includes $550 billion of new Federal funding and is still being written as Senators debate the bill. The infrastructure deal has a 59 percent approval according to the most recent CBS-YouGov poll. So far, here is where the money from the bill is expected to go: 

  • $73 billion to rebuild the electric grid;
  • $66 billion in passenger and freight rail;
  • $65 billion to expand broadband Internet access;
  • $55 billion for water infrastructure; 
  • $40 billion to fix bridges; 
  • $39 billion to modernise public transit like buses;
  • $7.5 billion to create the first federal network of charging stations for electric vehicles.It remains unclear whether the bill will pass, or how long the debating between senators will take.

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