On Monday, President Biden signed bill H.R.3684 into law. The bill is better known as the "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act". As then-Vice-President said about the ACA, it's "a big fucking deal".
The bill itself
is huge, not only monetarily, but in the amount of text. Yet here it is only 2 days later, and already there are plenty of self-appointed experts who will tell you all kinds of things that are in the bill (or not in the bill). Apparently after getting advanced degrees in microbiology and immunology, they went on to law school.
So here's a summary of what IS in the bill:
This bill addresses provisions related to federal-aid highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier, research, hazardous materials, and rail programs of the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Among other provisions, the bill
- extends FY2021 enacted levels through FY2022 for federal-aid highway, transit, and safety programs;
- reauthorizes for FY2023-FY2026 several surface transportation programs, including the federal-aid highway program, transit programs, highway safety, motor carrier safety, and rail programs;
- addresses climate change, including strategies to reduce the climate change impacts of the surface transportation system and a vulnerability assessment to identify opportunities to enhance the resilience of the surface transportation system and ensure the efficient use of federal resources;
- revises Buy America procurement requirements for highways, mass transit, and rail;
- establishes a rebuild rural bridges program to improve the safety and state of good repair of bridges in rural communities;
- implements new safety requirements across all transportation modes; and
- directs DOT to establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and achieve and maintain a state of good repair in the surface transportation system.
So what's not in it? Per the gullible right-wingers who "do their own resurch":
- Only 8% (or 6% or 11% in some cases - the numbers are all over the place) are for rural projects - the rest is for democratic urban centers
- Projects for "Big Union" companies - small "mom and pop" companies will "go under". (editors note: Since when do "mom & pop shops" build bridges?)
- It will raise EVERYONE's taxes
- It will be 10 years before anything gets started
- Nothing will be built because there are no building materials to be had
- Millions will be routed to "illegal immigrants"
I guarantee we'll see more nonsense from those who refuse to acknowledge a Democratic "win". This bill is as bipartisan as one can expect in these balkanized times, but 13 House republicans voted for this bill, and they deserve a little applause for supporting country over party:
- Rep. Don Bacon (R-AR)
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Andrew Gabarino (R-NY)
- John Katko (R-NY)
- Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY)
- Tom Reed (R-NY)
- Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)
- Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
- David McKinley (R-WV)
- Chris Smith (R-NJ)
- Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ)
- Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Don Young (R-AK)
Of course, this means the Republican smear machine will target them next year, and they likely won't be getting any committee assignments between now and then. This won't stop OTHER republicans from campaigning about all the good things coming to their districts (despite voting against the bill). The bill has 539 amendments, quite a few from red-state republicans who then voted against the bill anyway.
This is the same thing that happened with the ACA. The republicans howled about how bad it was for America, watered it down with amendments, and voted against it anyway. Then they (and their "familiars") spread lies about the bill (we even created a website
to help combat those lies). Eventually, the voting public embraced the bill when they saw what it was doing for them.
We seem to be following the same path here. I also expect once voters in red states see the jobs being created and their infrastructure improving, they'll realize this new law is actually a good thing. Perhaps it will even change their votes next time.
That possibility would certainly explain all the efforts to cast it in a bad light.