Legislation

September 24, 2021 - Update

Washington Update

prepared by WSP USA

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Infrastructure

The House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), on Monday, September 27 Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced today.  Of note, Leader Hoyer used the word consider and not vote when explaining expected floor activity on the IIJA.  This may be because it is still unclear if there is enough support for passage of the bill by Monday and ahead of completion of the reconciliation package.  Progressive members of the House Democratic Caucus want to vote on the reconciliation bill before or in tandem with the IIJA and have threatened to oppose final passage of the infrastructure bill if this does not occur. Moderate Democrats were promised that the House would take up the IIJA by September 27 and are insisting on completion of the bill by this date.  Less than 10 Republicans have announced their support for the infrastructure bill and the Republican Leadership is actively whipping against the bill, encouraging Republican members to oppose final passage. All things considered, the path to passage is riddled with uncertainty and infrastructure watchers in Washington DC are monitoring developments closely.  As the process continues to unfold, stay tuned for additional interim Washington Updates with the latest intel and information.

Reconciliation

House Budget Committee Chairman David Yarmuth (D-KY) has scheduled a rare Saturday session to markup up the "Build Back Better" reconciliation package paving the way for floor consideration.  Leader Hoyer announced today that it is his intention to bring the reconciliation bill to the floor next week. A link to the bill can be found here.  The Transportation and Infrastructure section of the draft bill includes:

  • $10 billion for transportation electrification
  • $9.9 billion authorized for the House Transportation Committee's proposed housing and mobility program    
  • $2 billion for adding more electric vehicle charging stations to workplaces, publicly accessible areas, and multiunit housing
  • $1 billion for the similar projects around public housing  
  • $10 billion for high-speed rail corridor development
  • $5 billion for electrifying vehicles in the federal fleet, such as non-tactical DoD vehicles
  • $7 billion for the U.S. Postal Service electrification - $3 billion going toward electric delivery vehicles and $4 billion spread over USPS infrastructure and support vehicles
  • $1 billion for domestic production of zero-emission vehicles
  • $3 billion for creating more advanced technology vehicles including trains, maritime vessels, aircraft, and medium or heavy-duty vehicles, and hyperloop technology
  • $775 million for DOT to fund sustainable aviation advancements
  • $1 billion to develop and apply low-emission aviation technology and to produce, transport and store sustainable aviation fuel

Government Funding FY 2022

The House voted 220 to 211 on Tuesday night to pass a stopgap continuing resolution that would keep the federal government funded through December 3, though Republicans in the Senate have pledged to block it.  September 30 is the deadline for Congress to pass the CR to avoid a partial government shutdown. The bill includes $28.6 billion in disaster relief, $6.3 billion to help resettle Afghan refugees, and suspends the U.S. debt limit through December 2022, something that has drawn opposition from Senate Republicans.

The Senate is scheduled to vote at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27 on H.R. 5305, the House-passed CR. The vote scheduled is to invoke cloture to proceed with the bill and 60 votes are required meaning at least 10 Republican Senators are needed for cloture. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it clear that Republican Senators will not support the debt limit provisions included in the CR.

National Defense Authorization Act

The House of Representatives late Thursday passed its version of the fiscal year 2022 NDAA by a bipartisan 316-113 margin. The bill -- which sets defense spending at $740 billion, $24 billion over what was requested by the Biden administration -- now heads to the Senate.  The NDAA is the annual defense policy bill.

DOT Nominees

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing on Thursday on four U.S. DOT nominees:

  • Victoria Marie Baecher Wassmer, Chief Financial Officer, DOT
  • Mohsin Raza Syed, Assistant Secretary of Government Affairs, DOT
  • Amitabha Bose, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, DOT
  • Meera Joshi, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

A link to the hearing can be found here

WSP Digital Resource on Infrastructure Legislation

As the historic infrastructure package - the IIJA - continues its path through the legislative process, WSP's experts are prepared to help clients deliver on the true value of the expected infrastructure funding, helping to identify opportunities and secure available funds designated for initiatives that will deliver the next generation of America's infrastructure. For more information click here where you will also find WSP's overview of the expected funding opportunities.

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