President Joe Biden on Thursday touted the success of a sweeping bipartisan infrastructure deal during remarks at the White House.
Biden and a group of 21 Republican and Democratic senators agreed to a $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework deal aimed at modernizing America's aging roads and bridges, after the group reached a deal behind closed doors late Wednesday on the framework of an infrastructure package.
The roughly $1.2 trillion plan calls for $579 billion in new spending and focuses only on physical infrastructure structure such as roads, bridges, rail, broadband internet, water and sewer pipes and electric vehicles.
"I'm pleased to report that a bipartisan group of senators— five Democrats, five Republicans— part of a larger group have come together and forged an agreement that will create millions of American jobs and modernize our American infrastructure to compete with the rest of the world," Biden said during his remarks at the White House.
Here's what we know so far on the deal.
What's in the deal?
The infrastructure package will include $49 billion for public transit, which "represents the largest investment in public transit in American history. And I might add that (is) the largest investment rail since the creation of Amtrak," Biden said.
Also included in the $579 billion in new spending:
$109 billion on roads, bridges, major projects
$66 billion on passenger and freight rail
$11 billion on safety
$25 billion on airports
$7.5 billion on electric buses
$7.5 billion on electric vehicle infrastructure
$1 billion on reconnecting communities
$16 billion on ports and waterways
$20 billion on infrastructure financing
$55 billion on water infrastructure
$65 billion on broadband infrastructure
$21 billion on environmental remediation
$73 billion on power infrastructure including grid authority
$5 billion on western water storage
$47 billion on resilience
According to an administration fact sheet, the infrastructure plan "makes transformational and historic investments in clean transportation infrastructure, clean water infrastructure, universal broadband infrastructure, clean power infrastructure, remediation of legacy pollution, and resilience to the changing climate."
How to pay for the package?
During his remarks Biden again reiterated his opposition to a gas tax increase.
"We're going to do it all without raising a cent from earners below $400,000. There's no gas tax increase, no fee on electric vehicles," Biden said.
The president has also dropped his support for a corporate tax hike, which Republicans opposed.
The Biden administration proposed increasing tax enforcement within the IRS, redirecting unused unemployment insurance relief funds, allowing states to sell or purchase unused toll credits for infrastructure and repurposing unused relief funds from 2020 emergency relief legislation, among other ideas to fund the deal.
Congress will likely pass the infrastructure deal
The legislation has the backing of 11 Republican senators and 10 moderate Democrats, meaning there are enough votes to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome the filibuster, assuming all Senate Democrats vote for the deal.
"Let me be clear. Neither side got everything they want in this deal. That's what it means to compromise," Biden said.
"The heart of democracy requires consensus," the president added.
Lawmakers in both chambers are eager not only to address the country's crumbling physical condition but also to show that both sides can still forge bipartisan consensus in a Congress that's become increasingly partisan.
There will be a second bill on infrastructure
Biden plans to pursue a separate deal on infrastructure that will subsidize child care, home caregiving, climate change, prekindergarten and free community college proposals. Republicans fiercely criticized Biden's 'human infrastructure' plan for stretching traditional infrastructure boundaries.
The Senate would use reconciliation, a parliamentary maneuver that allows Democrats to approve the bill with a simple majority in the 50-50 Senate, to pass that deal. If there is a tie Vice President Kamala Harris will vote to break it.
"For me, investment in our physical and human infrastructure are inextricably intertwined. Both make us better off and stronger," Biden said.
"Both need to get done. I'm going to work closely with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer, to make sure that both move through the legislative process promptly and in tandem," Biden continued.
The president also said both pieces of legislation needed to come before his desk otherwise he wouldn't sign the bill.
“The bipartisan bill from the very beginning was understood, there’s going to have to be the second part of it,” Biden said. “I’m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest I proposed."
Democrats hope to pass both bills in the Democratic-controlled House and the Senate in July before Congress departs for its summer recess. In a nod to progressives who are skeptical moderate Democrats won't vote for a reconciliation package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus, “There won't be an infrastructure bill unless we have a reconciliation bill. Plain and simple.”
Contributing: Joey Garrison, Ledyard King
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Infrastructure bill: What we know about the bipartisan legislation