Looking to help get the American economy rolling amid the coronavirus-induced recession, House Democrats unveiled the $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act on June 22, which subsumes and replaces the previous $500 billion highways bill, the INVEST in America Act.
The revised and expanded Moving Forward Act (a summary can be read here, a section-by-section breakdown here, and the full 2,309 page bill here) would touch everything from airports to affordable housing to healthcare. The ambitious bill also includes a suite of options for funding the measure, including issuing infrastructure bonds.
The proposed funding breaks down as such:
- $494 would go towards highways, rail, and public transportation (including $29 billion for the struggling Amtrak). That includes spending $100 billion zero-emission busses and spending up to $300 billion on revitalizing crumbling roads and bridges
- Investing $130 billion in low-income school construction
- Enhancing the Historic Tax Credit, New Markets Tax Credit, and other incentives to spur private development
- Financing the development or preservation of at least 1.8 million affordable housing units at a cost of $100 billion, with a boost to corresponding tax credits to encourage private developers
- Creating a nationwide high-speed broadband network at a cost of $100 billion to bridge low-income communities
- Futureproofing the electric grid for renewable energy sources at a cost of $70 billion
- Putting at least $3 billion towards “shovel ready” projects to restore the Great Lakes and other vulnerable waterfront ecosystems
The ambitious bill also proposes spending billions to shore up healthcare access, the Postal Service, and clean drinking water infrastructure while simultaneously moving the country towards net-zero carbon emissions.
However, unlike the INVEST in America Act, which received broad bipartisan support, the newer version of the bill was advanced only by House Democrats, leaving its future uncertain. With such a hefty price tag and aspects that would touch all sectors of the American economy, it’s uncertain whether the Moving Forward Act would pass the Republican-controlled Senate or receive President Trump’s signature after leaving the House.