July 19, 2021

Bipartisan Physical Infrastructure Bill To Get First Vote This Weekend

The U.S. Senate was in session last week, but the U.S. House of Representatives was still in recess. The 22 senators who have agreed to a bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF) spent most of the week trying to put the agreed-to framework into legislative text because, on July 15, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that he will file cloture Monday, July 19 on the vehicle for the bipartisan bill, setting it up for a procedural vote Wednesday, July 21.

That procedural vote would kick off debate on the package, which could last a week or more.

The Metals Service Center Institute continues to make the case for a bipartisan bill, including by adding new “Insights” pieces by member companies to its www.build-now.org site. Click here to read those articles.

Additionally, MSCI has joined Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the AFL-CIO, the National Retail Federation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, North America’s Building Trades Unions, and other business and labor organizations in the launch of the Coalition for Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment.

In a statement, found here, the coalition said, “Now is the time to turn these promises into projects. We urge Congress to turn this framework into legislation that will be signed into law, and our organizations are committed to helping see this cross the finish line. Enacting significant infrastructure legislation, including investments in our roads, bridges, ports, airports, transit, rail, water and energy infrastructure, access to broadband, and more, is critical to our nation and will create middle-class family sustaining jobs.”

While Senate leaders are moving aggressively toward a vote, lawmakers are still trying to determine exactly how to pay for the plan. One specific has generated a significant amount of debate: a proposal to increase in funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to carry out more audits of businesses and individuals in the hopes of generating more tax revenue.

Some lawmakers also have brought back another idea that was first proposed by the Biden administration. Under this plan, banks would be required to provide information to the IRS on account holders’ financial transactions worth $600 or more. The requirement would apply to both business and individual customers. The proposal has not been very popular so the bipartisan infrastructure frames supporters and also are considering other options, including the increased funding for the IRS.

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