“A safe and reliable infrastructure can be left behind by any American,” said Shelley Moore Capito, Senator from West Virginia and the committee’s chief Republican, in a statement to the panel on Saturday.
In contrast, she and other Republicans were quick to turn down the White House’s latest offer on the larger infrastructure plan on Friday. The White House said Biden agreed to cut its infrastructure proposal from $ 2.25 trillion to $ 1.7 billion, including by shifting spending to other bills.
The chairman of the committee, Tom Carper (D-Del.), Released the highway draft on Saturday along with Capito, the chairman of the subcommittee on transport, Ben Cardin (D-Md.) And the senior member of the subcommittee on transport, Kevin Cramer ( RN.D.). The committee said it would mark the bill on Wednesday.
The committee’s bill would provide 34 percent more money than current spending on highways and related needs. It is also proposed to spend $ 500 million a year on alternative fuel and charging infrastructure over five years – far less than Biden’s EV charging proposals, but also far more than the Senate Republicans in their most recent counteroffer for the infrastructure.
Biden’s road and bridge utility plans to spend $ 115 billion on existing spending over eight years, while the Senate bill is $ 77 billion above baseline over five years. That makes the Senate proposal the bigger proposal of $ 1 billion a year.
The EPW committee has jurisdiction over motorways only. Therefore, other committees would need to draft regulations on transportation needs such as transit, rail and security before any bill goes to the Senate. The finance committee needs to figure out how to pay for it.
One major obstacle: the Highway Trust Fund has spent more than a decade than it brings in, and Democrats and Republicans have long been paralyzed by disagreements about how to make up for the rest, and even have that humble bit of bipartisan passage made the overall infrastructure package a heavy elevator.