Senate negotiators have reached a deal on the legislative language for the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure package, the White House announced today, and a vote could come as soon as tonight.
The bill will include $73 billion for power grid infrastructure, $65 billion for building out broadband, and “over $50 billion” for building the resiliency of infrastructure, including protecting from cyberattacks, the Biden administration announced July 28.
The framework of the bill was initially announced towards the end of June. The legislation will include $550 billion in new spending, according to the White House. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tried to initiate a vote on placeholder legislation for the bill last week, but it failed, as expected, with no Republican support.
While the funding levels for the power grid and broadband are the same as the initial framework the negotiators announced, the bill has tacked on at least $3 billion to the resiliency price tag. Resiliency will include beefing up the cybersecurity of infrastructure and weatherization to protect infrastructure from climate change. The bill will also include funds to protect against droughts and floods.
Republicans on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Space, and Technology had lobbied to pull broadband from the infrastructure package and pass it through normal rules. However, there does not seem to have been an appetite for separating broadband from this infrastructure deal.
The full text of the bill is not yet available, so it is yet to be seen how the negotiators will operationalize these funding levels. With cybersecurity of critical infrastructure being a key issue for the administration, in light of recent cyberattacks on a major pipeline and water treatment facilities, how much funding is directed towards the cybersecurity of infrastructure will be something to watch out for.