This week, the Senate voted in favor of moving forward on a Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID), although, legislative text has not been released. The deal reportedly includes $550 billion in new spending, which includes funding for roads, bridges, and major projects, electric grid upgrades, rail and Amtrak improvements, broadband expansion, clean drinking water, transit, ports and airports, and electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
The deal proposes repurposing $205 billion in unspent pandemic relief funds and another $53 billion in unspent unemployment benefits to offset its cost. Consequently, a draft discussion legislative text includes provisions which would allow EV charging at rest areas on the Interstate right-of-way which will harm small business energy marketers.
Permitting EV charging at rest areas or on the Interstate right-of-way will discourage the investment in charging by private businesses especially small businesses along Interstate exits. In addition, allowing charging at rest areas could lead to a slippery slope with EV users demanding additional relaxations of the commercialization ban, ultimately decimating hundreds of thousands of off-highway businesses. Click here to reach out to Congress ASAP!
Once text is released, the Senate is expected to work this weekend and next week on finalizing the package with the hope of passing it before the chamber adjourns for the August recess. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would also like the Senate to vote on a $3.5 trillion budget resolution before the August recess, which would allow the Senate to begin a Democrat-only reconciliation process addressing priorities not included in the BID. Although, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has already raised concerns over the $3.5 trillion price tag so it remains uncertain how the House and Senate will move forward on a reconciliation package. It also remains uncertain how the House will treat the Senate’s BID.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said that the House will not consider the BID without also advancing a reconciliation package, and House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has repeatedly criticized the BID as being inadequate.
Also this week, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would offer a tax credit for purchasing used EVs. The bill would grant buyers up to $2,500 in rebates, and would apply for EVs at least two years old that cost less than $25,000.