Late Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 228-206 to advance President Biden’s $1 trillion physical infrastructure legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The five-year spending bill includes a CHA-supported provision to invest $65 billion in broadband as well as funding to improve cybersecurity. The majority of the bill’s funding is directed toward roads, bridges, ports, rail transit, clean water, and other infrastructure projects. The California delegation voted strictly along party lines. Nationwide, 13 Republicans voted yes, and six progressive Democrats opposed the bill.
The broadband provision will establish a grant program to expand access in underserved areas. Nonprofit organizations, public-private partnerships, private companies, utilities, and local governments will be among those eligible for funding. Additionally, the bill makes permanent (at a lower amount) the monthly subsidy implemented during the pandemic to assist eligible households in accessing high-speed internet.
The bill now goes to the president’s desk for signature. The White House says the president intends to sign the bill when Congress returns from recess the week of Nov. 15, which is also when House Democratic leaders say they plan to vote on a $1.75 trillion social infrastructure bill, the Build Back Better Act.
CHA will continue to advocate for additional investment in the health care workforce, investment in hospital infrastructure, expansion of graduate medical education, preventing cuts to hospitals, and making permanent some of the flexibilities granted during the pandemic.