What is in the infrastructure bill

If you have been following the dreary ‘debate’ in the US congress about the infrastructure bill that progressive Democrats want to pass and Republicans and right-wing Democrats want to block, what is usually mentioned is the total figure of $3.5 trillion, though the fact that it is spread over ten years and thus much less scary is rarely spoken about.

Mehdi Hasan is fed up that people are not being told what is actually being proposed and he explains it in 60 seconds


  1. consciousness razor says

    There is the thing branded as a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal, which is titled the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” (H.R. 3684)

    The one which you’re talking about is a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, although what will actually be in it by the end is still in question. I think that one’s going to be called the “Build Back Better Act.” I would be happier it if we never had to hear that stupid slogan again. I guess I’ll just use “BBB Act.”

    (By the way, the word “bill” in the title is misspelled.)

  2. DrVanNostrand says

    I love pretty much all the things he listed. Let’s see how much of it is left once Manchin and Sinema trim it down to ~$2 trillion.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    It is a very important point that the spending would be spread over 10 years, but the media goes for the big impressive number. They do the same thing in reporting athlete contracts.

  4. says

    I know it’s “how it’s done” but spreading a bill over more than 2 presidencies is bullshit. Will Biden serve 2 terms? I rather hope not. Even if he did, 10 years is wildly hopeful. I actually do not know if a subsequent president can redirect or change the expenditures but this all looks pretty aspirational. The press should he, of course, pointing that out, too.

  5. consciousness razor says

    I actually do not know if a subsequent president can redirect or change the expenditures but this all looks pretty aspirational.

    That’s also being rather generous to the stuff in it, as if it were desirable to have them be baked in for 10 years or more. Some of the provisions just aren’t all that great … especially the infrastructure bill and its “asset recycling,” but even the reconciliation bill has some real duds. (You wouldn’t know that by listening to Mehdi Hasan rattle off dozens of items per minute.) The point is, even if things do go according to plan, then you had better prepare to be disappointed for a long time.

    Matt Bruenig (of People’s Policy Project) has sort of made a career of screaming into the void….
    Let Me Walk You Through How Stupid the Paid Leave Bill Is — “Imagine Medicare Advantage except if it was designed by idiots.”
    Senate Unemployment Insurance Proposal Needs Improvement — “Without minimum benefit amounts, states can and likely will undermine proposed UI reforms.”

    Another article from January, but still relevant:
    Now Is the Time for an American Child Benefit — “Democrats should abandon their tax credit fetish for a universal child benefit.”

  6. DrVanNostrand says


    For the most part, future presidents have a limited ability to re-direct that funding. A good example is the ACA. Trump attacked it as aggressively as he could with Executive powers, but he needed Congress to completely destroy it, which they failed to do. Changes to the tax code are pretty much set in stone. A future president can’t roll back the child tax credit any more than Biden can roll back the Trump tax cuts, at least not without Congressional approval. Of course, it’s entirely plausible that the Republicans will get back the Presidency, and majorities in the House and Senate, at which point they could undo all of it. But that’s always been the case. You do as much as you can do, when you can do it. Without a larger majority in the Senate, this is the best they can do.

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