8.2.21 Advocacy Alert: Senate Finalizes Bipartisan Infrastructure Details
August 2, 2021
On Sunday, senators released the text of their bipartisan infrastructure bill.
With the 2,700-page text released, all 50 Democratic senators and 18 Republican senators voted to take up debate on the bill, indicating strong bipartisan support for the measure.
In total, this bill spends $1.2 trillion, including $550 billion in new spending. It provides substantial funding for roads, bridges, rail, public transit, ports, airports, and broadband. The bill uses numerous revenue tools, such as re-appropriating unused COVID relief funds, to finance it without raising taxes.
The Senate is currently debating the bill and possible amendments, and Majority Leader Schumer expects a final vote in the coming days.
Congressional Democrats are proceeding with their two-track approach (further explained here). The bipartisan bill released Sunday will address physical infrastructure; Democrats are also pushing for a second “human infrastructure” package.
Because of this approach, we are still far from a final deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly maintained that she will not bring the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill to a vote in the House until the Senate also passes the “human infrastructure” bill, a $3.5 trillion package of social spending that does not have the same bipartisan support.
Key Democratic senators, such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), have been hesitant to support the "human infrastructure" bill. Given its size, the human infrastructure bill is expected to be financed by tax increases.
The BNP will share updates as Congressional negotiations continue.
To contact your Congressional representatives about the need to pass an infrastructure package, use our one-click tool here.
Today, Canadian officials announced they would be reinstating a requirement that all entrants present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
The requirement will take effect Tuesday, according to the Buffalo News.
Today, the Tax Foundation (an independent tax policy think tank) released its 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index. The report compares all fifty states on various tax policies, then ranks their overall business tax climate. New York ranked below every state except New Jersey.
NY’s rank in the State Business Tax Climate Index
The poor ranking comes as no surprise. New York has oscillated between 48-50 for over ten years. After enacting new tax increases this year, New York dropped from 48th to 49th.
Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced she would repeal the state’s mask mandate, effective today. However, her announcement did not proactively address how the repeal coincided with the NY HERO Act, which would have required employees in most workplaces to continue masking.
The BNP recently wrote to Governor Kathy Hochul suggesting steps she can take to maximize the incoming infrastructure investment from Washington.
President Biden recently signed into law the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The BNP advocated for this bill, which has the potential for transformative change in Buffalo Niagara. However, in our current landscape, this historic investment may not go as far in New York as it will in other states.