Reconciliation Moves Forward, But Transportation Wins Could Be In Jeopardy
We always knew that September would be a busy month for Congress, but now it looks like the work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Democrat-only human infrastructure/reconciliation bill may spill into the Fall.
Infrastructure bill (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act)
The Infrastructure bill — which includes major wins for bicycling and walking infrastructure, vulnerable road user safety, and complete streets — has passed the Senate and is now awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. We had expected that vote to come next week, but now think it may be delayed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes she has the votes to pass this bill, but wants to hold it until the larger human infrastructure/reconciliation bill is ready for a vote. Moderate Democrats in the House want the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), while progressives want a robust reconciliation bill. Speaker Pelosi wants the passage of one to hinge on the passage of the other so that both sides of her party win something and help each other.
Reconciliation/ Human Infrastructure bill.
Despite promises against double-dipping, the reconciliation bill includes transportation funding focused on climate, equity and improving networks. These programs would be great for bicycling and walking.
The tax incentives part of the bill also included several provisions the League advocated for including the bicycle commuter benefit, a tax incentive for e-bike purchases, tax incentives for businesses to put in e-bike charging stations, and a provision to help with financing rail-trail right of way.
Right now, there is debate on the size and scope of the reconciliation bill. If it moves forward with a larger price tag, that likely means the good-for-bicycling provisions will stay in. However, a smaller price tag — which is more likely — means infrastructure changes may be on the chopping block.
Want more details
Want to hear more about the specifics on the bicycling-related provisions in the reconciliation bill, and what the League is doing to promote them? Join me for a federal policy update on Friday at 3pm ET via Zoom.