Capitol Hill Update: Build Back Better In A Bind
The Senate made no progress on the Build Back Better Act (BBB) in the first week back in session following Senator Manchin’s (D-WV) announcement that he could not support the current plan.
While Senator Manchin affirmed that he agreed with Democratic leaders and the White House on certain aspects of the bill, including much of the climate section, he has not held new negotiations with the White House.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is taking a pause for the next few weeks to focus on voting rights legislation, while publicly still insisting that the party will come to an agreement on BBB before the President’s not-yet-scheduled State of the Union (likely late February or early March).
Congress will soon turn to government funding, as a temporary extension of current funding expires in mid-February. Negotiations between Appropriations Committee leaders to finalize an FY 22 budget are expected to begin soon.
The two power sources here are House Democrats and Senate Republicans, as any agreement will require a bipartisan 60 vote threshold in the Senate.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The Biden Administration is still determining how to administer funds and programs authorized in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law.
The Departments of Transportation and Energy expect to release EV charging station guidance for state and local governments in early February, and guidance for the EV national charging network in early May.
Mitch Landrieu, the White House Infrastructure Coordinator and former Mayor of New Orleans, called on governors to appoint state infrastructure coordinators in a letter this week.
The White House will work with OMB to release guidance for coordinators for discretionary and formula funding parameters by the end of this month.